New male birth control pill a success

20 March, 2018, 04:47 | Author: Jared Lewis
  • Breakthrough! New 'once-daily' male contraceptive pill found to safe and effective

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.

The prototype tablet dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU) - somewhat similar to the combined female pill that contains estrogen and steroid hormone.

"DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily "male pill", said Page, senior investigator of the study presented at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in Chicago. She said that studies indicate that men would prefer oral contraception versus injection or gel implant. Each dose group included five men who were randomly assigned to receive an inactive placebo and another 12 to 15 men who were given the new pill.

The study found that men who took the highest dose of DMAU, 400 mg, showed "marked suppression" of levels of testosterone and two hormones required for sperm production: luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone.

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"Despite having low levels of circulating testosterone, very few subjects reported symptoms consistent with testosterone deficiency or excess", Stephanie Page explained.

In Canada, oral contraceptives for women have been available for more than 50 years, and are the most often-used form of reversible contraception, Statistics Canada reported.

This new pill has overcome some previous challenges facing male birth control, like damage to the liver and other parts of the body. "Longer term studies are now under way to confirm that DMAU taken every day blocks sperm production". All of the men took the pills once per day with food for 28 days.

In a nutshell (sorry, couldn't resist), the pill lowers sperm hormones while not altering testosterone levels. It's 99 per cent effective when taken perfectly, Planned Parenthood wrote, but added that it's hard to do this.

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There was no significant change in mood or sexual function, but a small number of participants experienced decreased libido during the study.

All of the men who were taking the male birth control pills gained weight and had reduced HDL cholesterol, which is considered to be the good type of cholesterol. DMAU "does have the promise of blocking sperm production", Courgi said.

More research is needed before DMAU becomes a viable option for male birth control. But if further research shows the side effects are subtle, and patients are aware of the risks, this could be developed for the market.

All participants underwent a safety test including a liver and kidney screening.

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