Researchers from Will Cornell medicine, US, have created an experimental contraceptive drug candidate that “temporarily stops sperm in their tracks and prevents pregnancies in preclinical models”. This means that a new kind of contraceptive for men, currently available through physical barriers (condoms) and surgical options (vasectomy), could be developed similar to how a pill exists for women.
Dr. Jochen Buck and Dr. Lonny Levin, professors of pharmacology at Will Cornell Medicine, said the discovery could be a “gsme Changer” fir contraception. In the abstract for their study (‘on demand make contraception via acute inhibition of soluble adenylyl cyclase), published in nature communicators on February 14, they wrote, “ Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended; this existing family planning options are inadequate”
Aim of the study
Basically, this study was an attempt to show a proof – of – concept and whether the idea of such a pill could practically work. The aim here was to work on slowing the mobility or movement of sperms, which fertilises the female egg during human reproduction.
What the study says?
In the early in mice, a single dose of the drug, called TDI – 11861, immobilised sperm before, during and after mating. It was found to immobilise mice sperm for up to two and half hours, and effects persist in the female reproductive tract after mating.
After three hours, some sperm begin regaining motility; by 24 hours, nearly all sperm have recovered normal movement. If it does ultimately work in humans, mrn might be able to take it only when, and aa often as needed. They could make day to day decisions about their fertility.
Any side effects?
Unlike the female contraceptive pill, it does not involve any hormones. Scientist say that is one of the advantages of the approach they are exploring – it will not knock out testosterone and cause any male harmone deficiency side effects.
Instead, the ‘sperm – swim’ switch they are targeting is a cellular signalling protein called soluble adenylyl cyclase or sAC. The experimental make pill inhibits or blocks sAC.
Why it has been difficult to develop make contraceptive pills?
Contraception, in general has been focused on women. In 1960, the orak contraceptive pill was approved for release. Although the pill has also not been completely uncontroversial, often resulting in side – effects such as the risk of blood clots developing and even a risk of cancer according to some studies, there was also a great benefit.
How the pill worked was through regulation of the hormones progestin and estrogen, preventing fertilization of the egg by the sperm. Women produce one egg per month while men produce sperm in much larger numbers. Hence, developing a method is more challenging.