This new form of male contraception doesn’t have any side effects | health | Hindustan Times
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This new form of male contraception doesn’t have any side effects

A study has discovered a form of male contraception which can stop sperms without affecting hormones, thanks to a compound that binds to sperm proteins and slows the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones.

health Updated: Apr 20, 2018 15:26 IST
Currently, condoms and surgical vasectomy are the only safe forms of birth control currently available for men.
Currently, condoms and surgical vasectomy are the only safe forms of birth control currently available for men. (Shutterstock)

Turns out, there is male contraception which can stop sperms without affecting hormones. According to a study published by the University of North Carolina Health Care, a compound called EP055 binds to sperm proteins to significantly slow the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones, making EP055 a potential “male pill” without side effects.

“Simply put, the compound turns-off the sperm’s ability to swim, significantly limiting fertilisation capabilities,” said lead investigator Michael O’Rand. “This makes EP055 an ideal candidate for non-hormonal male contraception.”

Currently, condoms and surgical vasectomy are the only safe forms of birth control currently available for men. There are hormonal drugs in clinical trials that target the production of sperm, but these affect the natural hormones in men much like female contraceptives affect hormones in women.

During the study, thirty hours following a high-dose intravenous infusion of EP055 in male rhesus macaques, O’Rand and researchers found no indication of normal sperm motility. Further, no physical side effects were observed. “At 18 days post-infusion, all macaques showed signs of complete recovery, suggesting that the EP055 compound is indeed reversible,” said study co-investigator Mary Zelinski.

O’Rand and Zelinski indicate that more work is needed before EP055 becomes available for human use. They and their teams have begun to test a pill form of the compound and will eventually conduct a mating trial of EP055’s effectiveness against pregnancy. The study appears in the journal PLOS ONE.

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