Researchers Find Potential Male Contraceptive
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Researchers Find Potential Male Contraceptive

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Sofía Garduño By Sofía Garduño | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Fri, 02/17/2023 - 17:24

Researchers found a safe, acutely-acting soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) inhibitor with long residence time that makes male mice temporarily infertile, which could lead to the development of new contraceptive methods for men. 


“These data validate an effective on-demand contraception strategy unlike any other currently used form of birth control which avoids potential consequences of chronic dosing,” reads the article published in Nature.


This method would make men temporarily infertile minutes of taking a single dose of the contraceptive agent. Other available contraceptive methods require men to undergo months of continuous treatment for the contraceptive to be effective. Also, fertility is fully recovered in 24 hours.


The study found that sAC inhibitors affected mice sperm motility and a similar result is expected in male sperm, stopping it from reaching the uterus. While sperm can normally stay alive in the female reproductive tract up to five days after ejaculation, as reported by Mayo Clinic, with this treatment the sperm would remain trapped in the vagina, which re-acidifies shortly after copulation. 


Globally, the most common contraceptive methods are female sterilization, the male condom, the IUD, the pill, injections, implants and traditional methods such as withdrawal, according to ined. Progress in the development of more male contraception options is essential as contraceptive methods for men are often limited to vasectomies and condoms. “Advances in male contraception have been historically stymied by concerning failure rates, problematic side effects and perceived market limitations,” reads an article by researchers at the University of Washington. 


Meanwhile, the wide variety of female contraceptive options give women autonomy to make decisions about their fertility. The contraceptive methods best known by Mexican women are the male condom (known by 89.5% of women), the IUD (87.2%), the contraceptive implant (86.8 %), coitus interruptus (80.7%) and the morning-after or emergency contraception pill (78.4%), according to Gabriela Rodríguez, Secretary General, CONAPO


However, the lack of reversible male contraception methods has made the reproductive responsibility to be primarily attributed to women, leaving shared responsibility aside. This scenario forces women and those assigned female at birth to deal with most of the financial and health burdens linked to contraception. The development of more contraceptive methods can increase gender equality as unintended pregnancies put women and girls in disadvantage. “There are 400,000 abortions per year in Mexico. We have to protect the reproductive future of our young women and teenagers. The challenge is to change this risk status with contraception access and ensuring access to contraceptive technology,” says Mauricio Mendieta, Director, Gedeon Richter, to MBN.

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