It is predicted that male oral contraceptives can be introduced to the public sooner than expected. According to Open Access Governance, a research team led by Gunda Georg, a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Minnesota in the United States, has succeeded in developing male-only non-hormone oral contraceptives. From oral contraceptives to patches, men are also expected to be able to shoulder contraception obligations that have been excessively imposed only on women in various options.
A study first published by the American Chemical Society on the 23rd of March revealed that male mice were able to succeed in contraception without major side effects as a result of taking the drug for four weeks.
Researchers blocked the retinoic acid receptor alpha (RAR-)) protein in male mice through drugs. RAR is one of the nuclear receptors that bind retinoic acid that helps cell growth, sperm formation, and embryonic development, and the reproductive function of male mice stopped after four weeks of administering contraceptives to male mice that block the gene’s function. The contraceptive effect was also 99%. It was also found that the mouse’s reproductive function recovered normally after stopping administration for 4-6 weeks.
Until now in the 21st century, condom wearing and vasectomy are the only effective contraceptive methods for men. There have been many efforts to develop oral contraceptives for men so far, but no drugs have been approved for use so far. Most drugs currently undergoing clinical trials control testosterone, a male sex hormone, causing side effects such as weight gain, depression, and increased cholesterol levels.
Dr. Norman, one of Gunda Georg’s researchers, said, “We have started developing oral contraceptives for non-hormone men to prevent these side effects.” Clinical trials are expected to begin in the third quarter or the fourth quarter of this year.
Oral drugs currently taken by many women for contraception are manufactured by controlling hormones and cause side effects such as headaches, nausea, skin spots, irregular menstrual periods, blood pressure rises, emotional changes, and hemoptysis. Even women have had financial and mental burdens for decades at the risk of these side effects. Since it is always up to women to conceive if contraception fails, the gap in gender responsibility resulting from contraception has also been considered an inevitable problem.
Therefore, experts predict that the discovery of the male non-hormone oral contraceptive will change the contraceptive indicators that have been solid so far and reduce the burden placed only on women.