There Could Be a Male Birth Control Pill Headed Our Way

Figuring out birth control can be an exhausting endeavor as a woman. Are hormones going to cause your body to freak out? Should you get a Paragard or Mirena? Should you chance using the withdrawal method? A new contraceptive revolution might relieve women of at least some of their worries.

The Guardian reports that a pill named DMAU (chemical name: dimethandrolone undecanoate) is being developed as a form of birth control for men. Previously, trials for male contraceptives were stopped because of complications with side effects and safety. Now, major research has developed a safer, more effective pill.

The DMAU pill, like contraceptive pills for women, is comprised of a combination of hormones—a progestin and an androgen such as testosterone.

Previous attempts to create a male birth control pill had issues with finding a form of testosterone that didn’t cause liver inflammation as well as men having to take the pill twice daily. “DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily ‘male pill’,” said Stephanie Page, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, and the senior investigator on the study to the Guardian.

The research for DMAU found ways around previous issues. Another fatty acid, undecanoate, was added to slow clearance of the pill, giving it the ability to provide longer effects. In the test groups at university medical centers, men didn’t experience low testosterone levels, although all the men in the group had weight gain and a drop in “good” cholesterol.

“These promising results are unprecedented in the development of a prototype male pill,” Page told the Guardian. “Longer-term studies are currently under way to confirm that DMAU taken every day blocks sperm production.”


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