This New Male Contraceptive Pill Could Be An Absolute Game Changer

Would your boyfriend take the pill?
It could be even more effective than women's birth control pills
Aleksandr Zubkov via Getty Images
It could be even more effective than women's birth control pills

Taking a contraceptive pill every day could soon be a thing of the past for women as a pill that men can take just before sex has been created (AT LAST).

The male contraceptive pill blocks a fertility protein for 24 hours, scientists say, and could be more effective than women’s daily birth control pills.

When tested on mice, the non-hormonal compound stopped their sperm cells from maturing in the experiments - the male lab rodents had sex with females but there were no pregnancies (good for them).

“Our inhibitor works within 30 minutes to an hour,” lead author Dr Melanie Balbach said.

“Every other experimental hormonal or non-hormonal male contraceptive takes weeks to bring sperm count down or render them unable to fertilise eggs,” she added.

But how does it work? The drug disables an enzyme called sAC (soluble adenylyl cyclase) for a short while - this enzyme is what triggers which the cells to swim, so no enzyme, no swimming, no pregnancy!

“Sperm recovered from female mice remained incapacitated. There were no side effects,” Balbach says.

“The compound wore off three hours later, and males recovered their fertility.”

52 attempts were made for impregnation and all were unsuccessful.

However, other mice that were treated with a placebo that acted as a control made a third of their partners pregnant.

The team at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, are now looking at testing on healthy human males.

After decades of discussion around male contraception, there is growing hope that a male pill could relieve the ongoing contraceptive burden on women.

A YouGov survey in 2018 found that a third (33%) of men would theoretically consider taking the pill if it was available. And in 2019, at least one male pill, which contained hormones to stop sperm production, passed initial human safety tests.