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March 30, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

A safe, effective and reversible male contraceptive pill has successfully undergone initial human testing in the U.K (Telegraph, 3/18/18). This is a once-daily pill that’s hormone-based. It improves over previous such efforts in that it slows the rate at which the ingested hormones are metabolically cleared, rendering them ineffective.

A male contraceptive pill has been developed which is effective, safe and does not harm sex drive, scientists have announced.

In what has been described as a “major step forward”, the drug was successfully tested on 83 men for a month for the first time.

So far efforts to create a once-daily pill to mimic the mainstream female contraceptive have stalled because men metabolise and clear out the hormones it delivers too quickly…

However, the new drug, called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU, includes a long-chain fatty acid which slows down the clearance, allowing just one dose to be taken each day.

Like the pill for women, the experimental pill combines activity of an androgen - a male hormone such as testosterone - and a progestin…

At the highest dose of DMAU tested, 400 mg, subjects showed "marked suppression" of levels of their testosterone and two hormones required for sperm production.

The results showed that the pill worked only if taken with food. "Despite having low levels of circulating testosterone, very few subjects reported symptoms consistent with testosterone deficiency or excess," said Professor Stephanie Page, senior investigator on the study.

"These promising results are unprecedented in the development of a prototype male pill," All groups taking DMAU experienced some weight gain, as well decreases in HDL ("good") cholesterol.

Now, given a choice, I’d prefer a contraceptive like Vasalgel that’s about to begin human trials. The above-described pill alters a man’s hormonal makeup leading to weight-gain and a drop in HDL cholesterol. Those side effects aren’t good. Plus, he has to remember to take one every day.

By contrast, Vasalgel has no side effects other than slight discomfort around the small incision that’s necessary for injecting the polymer into the vas deferens. That lasts a couple of days. After that there are no side effects at all, the injection is completely effective and lasts around 10 years. It’s also reversible with another injection after which, fertility returns in about a month.

Still,

"Many men say they would prefer a daily pill as a reversible contraceptive, rather than long-acting injections or topical gels, which are also in development."

Given that, I say more power to the research team developing this pill. With it and Vasalgel, men will be able to choose between a pill or an injection to ensure that they – at last, for the first time in human history – can safely, effectively and confidentially control their fertility.

A safe, effective male contraceptive is vital in the fight for equal rights regarding children. With it on the market, in whatever form, men will be able to decide for themselves whether or not to have children. They won’t have to rely on their female partners to do so. And of course with the male taking responsibility for family planning, women will be relieved of that obligation, if they so desire.

What’s not to like?

 

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#malecontraceptive, #Vasalgel

 

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