A team of scientists led by Lundquist Institute investigator Wei Yan, on Wednesday said they have developed an oral non-hormonal form of birth control for men that proved  99 percent effective in mice.

In the past years, family planning was only meant for women because it is easy to access most of these methods, unlike for their male counterparts who wish to help but their methods are more complex and limited, the only option for men includes abstinence, use of male condoms and vasectomy, for this methods to work effectively one has to be extremely self-discipline, a virtue most men lack, vasectomy, on the other hand, is very expensive and a permanent form of male sterilization.

With the new male contraceptive, partners are set to breathe a sigh because they say it didn’t cause observable side effects on the mice and the pill was effective in preventing pregnancy.

The researchers administered the pill orally to male mice for four weeks and discovered, YCT529, the chemical in the pill drastically reduced sperm counts and was 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy in a mating trial.

After the mice were taken off the drug, the mice were able to sire again.

The findings on the new male contraceptive will be presented at the American Chemical Society’s spring meeting, and mark a key step towards expanding birth control options as well as responsibilities for men.

The team, which received funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Male Contraceptive Initiative, is working with a company called YourChoice Therapeutics to start human trials by the third or fourth quarter of 2022.

By Erastus Gachacha


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