Scientists have discovered a contraceptive pill that could be taken by both men and women and is likely to soon hit the market. It’s a breakthrough discovery in the understanding of the sperm biology and could also trigger a unisex version of the pill, according to scientists who are funded by US government.
They have also found a protein in sperm, which gives it the much-needed energy to fertilize a human egg and make its way through it. They said that the ABHD2 protein enables the tail to ‘’crack like a whip” and ‘’power kick” sperms to respond to hormone progesterone in the female sex. The hormone progesterone is released by the oocyte or egg, the final destination towards which sperms aim.
Needless to say, in the absence of this protein, the sperm may perhaps lose its ability to fertilize the egg.
Dr. Stuart Moss from the National Institute of Health, which supported the research, said that forming new compounds which prevent ABHD2 eventually may give way to new contraceptive ways that disallow the sperm from reaching the egg.
One of the researchers, Melissa Miller from University of California, Berkeley added that they look forward to setting a real target for accomplishing the development of unisex contraceptive pills.
Theoretically, the pill could be used by either sex, enabling men to partake in the greater share of the burden of contraception.
On the other hand, a drug which boosts the level of protein may help childless couples to have their own kids.
While oral contraceptives have been made available to women for more than half a century now, the search for a male pill has frustrated biology.
Whereas a woman usually releases one egg in a month, a healthy man produces 1,000 sperms with every heartbeat and just one is sufficient in order to conceive.
This point is still debatable whether men would be disposed to take a drug which could be perceived as upsetting their masculine vigor and whether women would want them to take it.
Professor Mike Wyllie, who is skilled in drug formation and male sexual health, said that this study has enabled the understanding of the male fertility control to leapfrog, or, at least, equal, our awareness of the female reproductive system.
‘A contraceptive pill that could be taken by either partner would have a major positive impact on the relationship, where more often than not the only choice of medication must be taken by the female.’
Gunda Gerog, the professor at the University of Minnesota, has been doing small adjustments to the accessible attempts at a male pill and informed at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society that she was very close.
She said that she was putting in her constant efforts to make necessary changes in the pill in order to make it more palatable for men.
The pill would be made soluble and it would show its effects fairly quickly without diminishing libido. It would still be safe if you take it for years and years. Also, because some couples would want to have children ultimately, its impact on fertility would be reversible, having no lasting ill consequences on embryos or sperm.