Scientists have taken a huge leap in the hunt for a male birth control pill. A study has been conducted that may have found a way to block sperm from traveling. The study, which attempts to block the transportation of sperm, has been effective in a new animal study. The study bred mice that lacked α1A-adrenoceptors and P2X1-purinoceptors, the receptors responsible for the transportation of sperm from the testes into the urethra.
Previous studies to block the adrenoceptors only were unsuccessful. The mice were able to reproduce about 50% of the time, but were less sexually aroused, in the study that only blocked the adrenoceptors. This new study, which blocked both receptors, has led to mice that are as sexually aroused as their counterparts with both receptors, but they have not yet sired a baby.
The road to a commercially available male birth control for humans is still a long way off. In order for such a pill to become available human testing and FDA approval would need to happen first. That could take years. While a commercially available, male birth control pill is a ways off, the study shows that scientists are on the right track, and may have come up with a viable solution to the birth control conundrum.
A male birth control pill is a complex undertaking, insist scientists and experts. It has eluded researchers for decades now. Unlike female birth control pills that need to stop a single egg, male pills would need to stop millions of sperm in their tracks. Scientists are also concerned that such a pill could irreversible effect the production of sperm. Before a pill of this nature could be made available, testing would need to be done to ensure the pill is effective in humans, and does not lead to lasting side effects that could compromise future fertility.
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