New Male Contraceptive Breakthrough

By: Aishah Fadila Adamu

New Male Contraceptive Breakthrough

Though men and women share equal responsibility for birth control, the burden is disproportionately shouldered by women. Of all modern contraceptive methods available, all but two are for women. Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended; thus, existing family planning options are inadequate. For men, the only choices are condoms and vasectomy, and most current efforts to develop new contraceptives for men impact sperm development.

Soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) is essential for sperm motility and maturation. A study has shown that a single dose of a safe, acutely-acting sAC inhibitor with long residence time renders male mice temporarily infertile. The mice exhibit normal mating behaviour but none impregnated a mate despite 52 different attempts to do so, compared to almost a third of mice treated with an inactive control substance impregnating mate.

The drug is fast-acting, worked within 30 to 60 minutes, and immobilized mice sperm for up to two and a half hours and was 100% effective in the first two hours. It is also temporary, with efficacy dropping to 91% at three hours and fertility returning to normal by the next day and full fertility returns the next day.

Other aspects like potential for mechanism-based toxicity due to long-term sAC inhibition were also explored. Read more.


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