A group of scientists have reported that they discovered a compound that can stick to sperm proteins to significantly slow down the cells. The findings could be used in a new male contraceptive that can stop sperm’s mobility without side effects.
The compound, dubbed EP055, does not affect the hormone balance. So, researchers are eager to insert it into a male contraceptive pill that has no drawbacks.
Lead researcher Michael O’Rand explained how the new compound works: It “turns-off the sperm’s ability to swim, significantly limiting fertilization capabilities”. O’Rand’s team is confident that the non-hormonal male birth control pill is almost here.
Currently, the only safe contraception options for men are condoms and vasectomies. Even though other teams are working on hormonal drugs that can act as male contraceptives, those methods can affect men’s hormones and have nasty side effects.
The Male Contraceptive Has Zero Side Effects
Study authors said that the newly found compound was successfully tested on male monkeys. In the study, the animals were given EP055 shots. After 30 hours, researchers found that the sperm hadn’t regained its normal mobility. Also, no side effects were reported.
The sperm went back to normal after 18 days, researchers wrote in their report. This means that the contraceptive method is reversible, unlike a surgical vasectomy, for instance.
O’Rand’s team acknowledged that more research needs to be done before the new compound is considered to be safe for human males. As a follow-up, scientists plan to turn the compound into a birth control pill and start a trial to see its effectiveness in real-world scenarios.
Meanwhile, another team is testing a gel that can temporarily shut down sperm production, but it needs to be used daily. However, the gel comes with some ugly side effects as it affects testosterone levels in the male body. The side effects include low sex drive and ejaculation issues.
Image Source: PxHere
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