A new research study reveal that a new Male Birth Control Pill can really be an effective contraceptive. The control pill for men appears to be safe when used daily for a month, with hormone responses consistent with effective contraception, study researchers say. Their study results , was presented (March 18th) Sunday at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Ill.
The female birth control pill has been about 50 years old , and scientist have been research for the male counterpart. Now the answer is no longer far fetched.
In a preliminary study conducted on 100 men, with 83 men completing the research, researchers found that when men took an experimental pill every day for a month, the drug appeared to act in ways that could potentially block sperm production, and it seemed to be safe.
Similar to the female contraceptive pills, the male experimental male oral contraceptive—called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU—combines activity of an androgen (male hormone) like testosterone, and a progestin, and is taken once a day, said the study’s senior investigator, Stephanie Page, M.D., PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
The Professor added that “DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily ‘male pill’,” Page said. “Many men say they would prefer a daily pill as a reversible contraceptive, rather than long-acting injections or topical gels, which are also in development.”
Currently men birth control option, is limited to the use of condom and coitus interruptus (withdrawal method). Those methods are not very effective. Men also have the choice of Vasectomy, which is almost permanent.
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According the Endocrine Society website the study 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, CA (led by co-author Christina Wang, M.D.). The investigators tested three different doses of DMAU (100, 200, and 400 milligrams, or mg) and two different formulations inside the capsules (castor oil and powder). Each dose group included five subjects who were randomly assigned to receive an inactive placebo and another 12 to 15 men who received DMAU. Subjects took the drug or placebo for 28 days once daily with food. DMAU must be taken with food to be effective, Page noted.
A total of 83 men completed the study, including giving blood samples, for hormone and cholesterol testing, on the first and last days of the study.
At the highest dose of DMAU tested, 400 mg, subjects showed “marked suppression” of levels of their testosterone and two hormones required for sperm production. The low levels, Page said, are consistent with effective male contraception shown in longer-term studies.
“Despite having low levels of circulating testosterone, very few subjects reported symptoms consistent with testosterone deficiency or excess,” Page said.
All groups taking DMAU did have weight gain and decreases in HDL (“good”) cholesterol, both of which Page said were mild. All subjects passed safety tests, including markers of liver and kidney function.
“These promising results are unprecedented in the development of a prototype male pill,” Page said. “Longer term studies are currently under way to confirm that DMAU taken every day blocks sperm production.”
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Within the Endocrine society the is much of joy and excitement resulting from the study and the prospect it offers.
The new findings are “exciting,” said Dr. Robert Courgi, an endocrinologist at Northwell Health’s Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, New York, who was not involved in the study, but attended the presentation. DMAU “does have the promise of blocking sperm production,” Courgi said.
However, the study was small, and so more research is needed to confirm the findings and further examine the drug’s safety. “We know that when we give it to 100 people, it seemed Ok ; let’s see what happens when we give it to 10,000 people,” Courgi told Live Science.
The testosterone levels seen in the study’s participants are comparable to those seen in men who have undergone castration, or removal of the testes, Courgi said. But if further research shows the side effects are subtle, and patients are aware of the risks, this could be developed for the market. “If it’s as mild as it seems to be, this can come to fruition,” Courgi said.
Courgi noted that female birth control pills can have a number of side effects, but the pills are still popular, and many women are able to take them without experiencing these adverse effects.
We will wait for the mass production of this drug.