New male pill is safe but does it work?


Dr. Page said her group will begin a 3-month study in April to see if any long-term toxicity appears, and then will do a study in couples to determine if DMAU does efficiently work as birth control.

Similar to the pill used by women, the male contraceptive tested on 100 of the participants combined an androgen (a male hormone like testosterone) and a progestin.

Nonetheless, it may be the best hope yet for a non-permanent male contraceptive, said Stephanie Page of the University of Washington School of Medicine.

"And 60 to 80 percent of men surveyed in such studies say if there was a reversible contraceptive available, they would be very interested in using it".

The study, funded by The National Institutes of Health, included 100 healthy men, ages 18 to 50 years, and took place at the University of Washington Medical Center and at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. "Longer-term studies are now under way to confirm that DMAU taken every day blocks sperm production". It also required two doses a day."It's hard enough to keep in mind to take a pill once a day", Page said.

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

However, longer studies are needed to confirm that it does indeed block sperm production, the researchers said. DMAU needs to be taken with food to work properly, the researchers noted.

In a nutshell (sorry, couldn't resist), the pill lowers sperm hormones while not altering testosterone levels. But the researchers found that there was no significant change in mood or sexual function among those who took the drug, compared with those who took a placebo.

Pages have high hopes for results, calling them "unprecedented in the development of a prototype male pill". Maybe the study that begins in April will present us encouraging findings as well as the one presented at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago, on Sunday. These men however gained weight slightly, developed mild acne and showed mild decrease in HDL cholesterol. Men can also have a vasectomy, but this method is invasive and often not reversible.

While this research is not as far progressed as the new DMAU study, it highlights the variety of different tactics scientists are investigating to develop an elusive male contraceptive pill. "Testosterone production is blocked and therefore sperm are not able to finish their last stages of maturation", she 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.