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The IVF Fertility Blog

Researchers Closer to Developing Male Birth Control Pill

Researchers at Columbia University are getting closer to creating a male birth control pill.

Dr. Debra Wolgemuth and her research team were able confirm studies that show positive results in controlling the sterility in men with little to no side effects.  In their experiments with mice, the scientists were able to prove that interfering with the receptors in charge of producing vitamin A - the key component in the production of sperm cells - resulted in their infertility.  The mice were able to resume reproduction shortly after they stopped taking the medication (source: LancasterOnline).

Medical professionals remain concerned about the potential crossover effects the treatment could have in other areas of the body, as vitamin A is essential in vision and immune system functions; however, Columbia's findings are unique in that they have worked to narrow down the component specific to sperm production versus developing another hormone-based drug.

The new pill still has a way to go before being put on the market, including clinical trials with human males, but Wolgemuth's work shows tremendous advances in leveling the field of birth control.  Since the introduction of the female birth control pill, the responsibility of protecting against unwanted pregnancy has largely been left to women.  The possibility of a male birth control pill would only provide more options to couples who prefer considering all the birth control methods available.

More on this topic can be read in the Journal of Endocrinolgy.

Topics: Fertility, Technology, Research, Infertility

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