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Male contraceptive pill shows huge promise in mice trials and could be a ‘game-changer’

Rachel Lang

| Last updated 

Male contraceptive pill shows huge promise in mice trials and could be a ‘game-changer’

A contraceptive pill for men could soon become a reality, with doctors revealing a recent trial on male mice had proven to be 100 per cent effective.

Let's be real here, results don't get any better than that, so the wonder pill is being hailed as a massive success.

The drug inactivates an enzyme called soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC), which meant that the male mice still produced sperm.

The mice sperm, however, were rendered incapacitated as the little baby-making tadpoles were unable to propel themselves forward.


Without being to move forward, the sperm cells would not be able to locate any eggs, therefore making the sperm cells redundant.

Credit: Inna Mykhalchuk / Alamy
Credit: Inna Mykhalchuk / Alamy

The drug, once injected into the male mice, was 100 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy for two and a half hours after it was given, according to a study published in the Nature Communications research journal.

Success dropped to a 91 per cent efficacy rate at the three and a half hour mark.


The mice returned to full fertility the next day, the study found.

The study, published on Valentine's Day, means scientists and researchers hold hope that the drug may one day be used by human men, allowing them to bang away without any risk of making anyone pregnant in the process.

There is no indication the drug would protect the user or their partners from sexually transmitted infections.

Postdoctoral associate Melanie Balbach made the initial discovery back in 2018 for Weill Cornell Medicine whilst investigating the use of sAC inhibitors as a possible treatment for eye conditions.


Now, the labs pivoted to focus on the 'game changing' male contraceptive that they hope to see on the shelves one day soon.

Mice. Credit: Matthijs Kuijpers / Alamy
Mice. Credit: Matthijs Kuijpers / Alamy

Dr Balbach revealed why the male contraceptive treatment is just so groundbreaking in a recent statement to accompany the newly unveiled research.

"Our inhibitor works within 30 minutes to an hour," Dr. Balbach said.


"Every other experimental hormonal or nonhormonal male contraceptive takes weeks to bring sperm count down or render them unable to fertilise eggs."

As well as being fast-acting, Dr. Balbach noted that the treatment also wears off within hours, meaning men can take it as needed.

This could soon allow men to make day-to-day decisions about their fertility, instead of using prophylactic methods like condoms or relying on their female partner to take her own contraceptives to cover both of them.

The study’s co-senior author Dr. Lonny Levin added that his team are 'already working on making sAC inhibitors better suited for use in humans'.

Featured Image Credit: Phanie / Alamy. Oleksii Donenko / Alamy.

Topics: Sex and Relationships, Health, Science

Rachel Lang
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