Talks about developing a male contraceptive pill have been discussed for years. Recently a clinical trial found that a new development of the pill has been deemed effective, safe and does not lower or harm the sex drive of those who are taking it.
Scientists have confirmed these results and are saying that is a major step forward for the future development of the drug. For the first time, the clinical trial consisted of 83 men taking the drug for an entire month. Each candidate hadn’t taken a variant of the pill prior to the test’s commencement.
The main barrier that developers of this drug are facing is the metabolism difference that men have compared to women. The female contraceptive pill is a single dose that isn’t affected too heavily by their metabolism. As men metabolise hormones faster, it is hard to make a single dose variant for the opposite gender.
The new development of the drug known as dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU) has a long chain of fat acids that slows down the metabolism of the hormones that the pill contains. This way men are able to take it once a day rather than several doses which was the earlier innovations.
For a lot of men, the main form of contraception came down to condoms. While the male contraceptive pill is still in development, other improvements of contraceptive measures including injections and gels that could last for a long period of time are also being improved.
Similar to the female variation, the pill that is still in development consists of an androgen, which in this case is testosterone, and a progestin.
The candidates that completed the trial were subjected to blood sampling on the first and last day of the trial to study the hormone and cholesterol levels.
While the drug acts by suppressing your testosterone levels, none of the subjects showed symptoms of testosterone deficiency. All of the candidates also passed safety tests for kidney and liver functionality. Professors are already stating that DMAU is the step forward to perfecting the development of the single dose male contraceptive pill.
Many men have stated that they would prefer a single dose of a pill compared to injections or gels. The contraceptive pill for women has been available for just under 70 years where the condom was invented in 1855 and has been the only temporary contraceptive available to men.
With the new developments we could be seeing a lot more options available for men regarding reversible contraceptive measures in the future.