Source: Morning Brew
Researchers revealed on Tuesday (yep, Valentine’s Day) that a birth control pill for men is yielding promising results in the lab. Because of the unique way it would prevent pregnancy, this pill could become the first legit contraception alternative to vasectomies and condoms for men.
The new pill, developed by Weill Cornell Medical scientists, temporarily immobilizes sperm by blocking a protein called soluble adenylyl cyclase, or “sAC,” that triggers sperm to swim to an egg. In the lab, the pill successfully prevented male mice from siring baby mice (aka “pinkies,” fun mouse fact) for a couple of hours—though they hope to extend that window to a day or two. Up next: tests on rabbits, which apparently WooHoo kind of like humans.
It’s like Viagra, but for preventing pregnancy
That’s a big deal for getting it approved by the FDA. The fact that this experimental birth control pill wears off over time makes it similar to two pills that are already on the market, Viagra and Cialis.
Like those ED treatments, the sperm-stunning pill also has short-term side effects—which represents a vast improvement over other pill experiments.
Previous attempts at developing a birth control pill for men required them to take hormonal medications for months to prevent sperm from being formed in the first place.
Long-term use of these pills caused ongoing side effects—like acne, weight gain, and mood swings—that lasted for months after stopping use of the pill.
If your eyes just rolled to the back of your head—yep, those are the exact same side effects women experience from taking hormonal birth control. But, from the FDA’s perspective, the risk of side effects from hormonal birth control is far less than the risks involved in a pregnancy for women.
Looking ahead…the Weill Cornell researchers who are developing the new pill seem confident: They already formed a company, Sacyl Pharmaceuticals, to produce it.