Coming Soon? Birth Control Pill for MenMonica Bielanko
Maybe sometime in the near future it will be up to your husband to remember to take his birth control pill.
As reported on Jezebel, birth control pills for men might be just around the corner. Two new studies have just been released which make non-hormonal contraception for men look like a real possibility sooner rather than later.
Here’s the gist from Jezebel about a study done by researchers at the University of Edinburgh who:
“…used drugs to alter various genes in mice, and then they identified which of the mice ended up being infertile. They looked at which genes had been modified in those mice and examined the effect they had on sperm development. They were able to pinpoint one gene specifically, called Katnal1, which plays an important role in sperm formation. If the protein it makes is not present, the mouse’s sperm doesn’t mature in the testes and won’t be able to fertilize eggs. Basically, you end up with a bunch of immature sperm running around with no idea what to do.”
The researchers suspect this is the same gene in humans, and if they can find the drug that turns it off and on, they can not only create a birth control pill for men, but they may even be able to cure infertility that is caused by that gene not working properly.
A second study from the University of Chicago focused on all genetic areas that affect male fertility. The researchers studied a religious group similar to the Amish who don’t use contraception. Ultimately they were able to pinpoint more than 40 genetic regions that influence fertility in men. Then they compared these with a sample of men in Chicago, and nine of the regions matched up. So, now there are some general areas on which to focus further research.
Realistically speaking, these studies are baby steps and birth control for men or a treatment for gene-based infertility is still five to ten years away. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later because, as Jezebel reports, “just think how much fun it’s going to be to watch male politicians rush to provide these pills free of charge to every man in the country without even calling them sluts first.”
You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.
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