The Recorder – My Turn: Is male contraception finally at hand?

With the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which now severely restricts women’s reproductive rights, it might seem a strange moment to announce good news about male contraception. However, researchers recently announced that male contraceptive trials using mice were extremely successful – 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

The new pill created by a team at the University of Minnesota, blocks the binding of proteins to vitamin A, which is critical for mammalian fertility and virility. Aside from the drug being able to block virtually all pregnancies, the researchers said the pill has no obvious side effects. The results were shared at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in March.

“Most contraceptives are designed for people with wombs, leaving people with testicles with few birth control options,” noted Corryn Wetzel, a freelance science writer, in a letter The Smithsonian.

The sexism behind birth control is evident. Why do women bear the most burden to prevent pregnancy? Researchers have traditionally paid much more attention to contraception in women than in men, as male birth control researchers acknowledge — from pills to patches to intrauterine devices. Especially now, it’s important to see men expanding contraceptive options — including taking on more responsibilities.

When male mice were given the drug orally for just four weeks, the researchers found that sperm counts dropped so much that they became infertile. However, when the team stopped dosing the animals, the drug’s effects reversed: the mice recovered to normal virility within four to six weeks.

Depending on the results of the human trials, the drug could soon be the first effective form of birth control for people with testicles, alongside condoms or vasectomies. Why did it take so long? “Scientists have been trying for decades to develop an effective male oral contraceptive, but there are still no approved pills on the market,” said Dr. Abdullah al Noman, a chemist at the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Therapeutic Discovery and Development, who worked closely on the drug’s development.

Because this contraceptive isn’t hormonal, it’s likely to have fewer side effects, researchers say. Previous attempts at male birth control pills worked largely by blocking testosterone, which can lead to depression, weight gain, and decreased libido. Even when scientists overdosed the mice on the new drug, the rodents appeared to be fine, Noman noted.

“When we went to doses even 100 times higher than the effective dose, the compound showed no toxicity,” Noman told Alex Wilkins New scientist. The researchers stress that the drug’s success in rodents does not guarantee the same outcome in humans, which is why scientists – and reproductive rights activists – will be closely monitoring human clinical trials.

“Most female contraceptives target sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone,” Noman explained. “Efforts have been made to develop male birth control pills by targeting the male sex hormone testosterone. As previously mentioned, the side effects of weight gain, depressionand increased levels of LDL testosterone not a good choice. “Since men do not have to suffer from the consequences of pregnancy, the threshold for side effects of the birth control pill is rather low. This is a major obstacle to the development of a male contraceptive. So we’re trying to develop non-hormonal birth control pills to avoid hormonal side effects,” Noman said.

Prof. Richard Anderson, Ph.D., a professor of clinical reproductive science who was not involved with the research, said Medical news today, “The hormonal approach to male birth control is evolving, but men are producing millions of sperm at any moment and that needs to be stopped entirely. Anderson, associate director of the Scottish Center for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh, added that while there have been “some very promising approaches for a non-hormonal approach… these often didn’t work or had safety issues when the studies were moved out of the lab.” became /animal models for humans.”

Medical professionals hope that recent breakthroughs in male contraception will allow people of all genders to take control of their reproductive health. Meanwhile, another male contraceptive, a gel rubbed onto the shoulder daily, is currently in clinical trials.

“Our track record as a gender for taking responsibility for birth control is not outstanding,” said Jesse Mills, director of the Men’s Clinic at UCLA health line, in a colossal understatement. “Women outnumber men when it comes to surgical sterilization procedures, although a female tubal ligation is far more invasive than a vasectomy,” Mills said. “I’m excited to see what the human trials show.”

Rob Okun ([email protected]), syndicated from voice of peaceis publisher of voice male Magazine chronicling the pro-feminist men’s movement. He writes about culture and politics.

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