Friday, 22 June, 2018

Male birth control pill showing promise in early trials

Men could be taking birth control pills soon after scientists said a study found an experimental oral contraceptive shows promise. File Male pill could be on horizon as trials yield positive results
Becky Salazar | 20 March, 2018, 04:48

While there may be concerns that a male contraceptive pill wouldn't work because men would forget to take it, study co-author Dr. Arthi Thirumalai of the University of Washington was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying it would be "quite old-fashioned" to draw such conclusions, as surveys had found that men are also willing to "take responsibility for contraception".

This new male contraceptive pill is a drug called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU.

"DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily 'male pill, '" Page said. To salvage the situation, men would also now have an option to take a drug that prevents pregnancy, thanks to a male contraceptive pill that is being developed towards that regard.

According to a press release on the clinical trial, 100 men between the ages of 18 and 50 participated in it, and 83 of the men completed the trial. DMAU works by suppressing several hormones, including testosterone, required for sperm production, and the first study of 100 men found that a once daily dosage, over time, hit levels low enough to limit the amount of sperm. It also required two doses a day."It's hard enough to keep in mind to take a pill once a day", Page said. The results of a recent study were presented by researchers at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago, on Sunday.

Progress toward a male birth control pill has been stymied because, according to Page, available oral forms of testosterone may cause liver inflammation, and they clear the body too quickly for once-daily dosing, thus requiring two doses a day.

In a nutshell (sorry, couldn't resist), the pill lowers sperm hormones while not altering testosterone levels.

"These promising results are unprecedented in the development of a prototype male pill", she added.

Volunteers took the drug or placebo for 28 days once daily with food.

The trials showed the pill can be given safely for more than one dose, but did not yet test for its success as contraception.

Researcher note that usually low testosterone levels can lead to decreased sex drive and fatigue but most of those involved in the trial did not appear to suffer from these side effects. Then they'll have to test it in men who are married or in other long-term relationships with women. DMAU must be taken with food to be effective, Page noted. DMAU "does have the promise of blocking sperm production", Courgi said. While women are more likely to trust their partners with contraception than you might think, quite a few men still (archaically, absurdly) believe that contraception is a woman's job.

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