The Male 'Pill': Ready for Testing

Contraceptive pill for men may be just a decade away
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2012 6:48 PM CST
The male contraceptive pill could create whole new attitudes about sex, experts say.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Will men take it? Will women believe men are taking it? However this unfolds, the male contraceptive pill may be only a decade away, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Researchers at the University of Kansas are so confident about their male contraceptive pill that they're ready to seek FDA approval to test it on humans. So far their compound has proven safe in rats, rabbits, mice, and monkeys. "It's 100% effective and 100% reversible," says biologist Joseph Tash.

Tash has spent 10 years adjusting the chemical compound H2-gamendazole, which stops sperm from growing in the testes. And he's not alone: Other researchers are creating pills to block a protein that makes sperm, stop sperm from reaching an egg, or affect hormones rather than directly target the sperm. Experts are predicting a social revolution akin to the condom explosion of the 1980s. Says one: "Practically every woman has used a condom now. That's a phenomenal social change." (Another option: zap the testicles with ultrasound.)

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