Researchers have found a compound that may offer the first effective and hormone-free birth control pill for men.
The new study shows that the small molecule makes male mice reversibly infertile without putting a damper on their sex drive.
When the animals stop taking this new form of birth control, their sperm rebound and they are again able to produce perfectly healthy offsprings.
"This compound produces a rapid and reversible decrease in sperm count and motility with profound effects on fertility," James Bradner of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the lead author of the study, said.
A male birth control pill hasn't been easy to come by in large part because of the challenge of getting any drug across the blood: testis barrier, where it can reach the sperm-generating cells. That lack of contraceptive alternatives for men is partially responsible for the high rate of unplanned pregnancies.