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Male birth control pills could see clinical trials by end of the year

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Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2022. 6:05 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Fortune Magazine reports that the first male birth control pill, could commence human testing before the end of the year.

Fortune reports that the pill, which has shown “significant results” in laboratory trials and was created by researchers at the University of Minnesota, has been 99% effective at preventing pregnancy in mice.

The treatment reportedly targets interactions with vitamin A, a major component in fertility, instead of using hormones, and has thus far shown no apparent side effects.

During the animal trials, mice were given the compound called GPHR-529 for a period of four weeks and were found to have a considerable drop in the production of semen. Once off the treatment, the semen in these mice recovered within four to six weeks.

The method is being looked at favorably, as hormonal treatments cause a number of health issues including the reduction of good cholesterol which can cause heart problems, as well as adverse effects on body weight and libido.

Male contraception is an issue that has reportedly been in the works at the University of Minnesota for many years, and notably, two researchers in 2018 found that they could stop the movement of sperm using the extract of a plant used by African warriors as poison to stop the heart.

Male contraception has also been the subject or research outside of the University of Minnesota. The University of Utah is currently conducting clinical trials on a once-daily contraceptive gel for men which is rubbed on the shoulder. A similar gel was approved for women back in 2020.

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