According to a PopSci.com report, significant headway may have just been made in research for the male birth control pill. Haim Breitbart of Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv has worked to develop a compound that shuts down the reproductive capabilities of sperm.
When the compound was tested with sexually active mice, small doses were found to result in one month of sterility, while large doses caused three months of sterility in mice. But what’s most notable about this particular breakthrough is that the mice actually continued to have sex, while many attempts at finding the right drug have resulted in significantly lowered sex drives.
Israel21c reports on how well-behaved Breitbart said the mice were:
“The mice behaved nicely,” Breitbart reports, “they ate and had sex; they were laughing, and everything, so all I can say is that we couldn’t see any behavioral side-effects – all their sex behavior was retained, which is a very important consideration for human men. A man who takes this pill could also be sexually active later on and have children.”
Breitbart has nicknamed the pill “The Bright Pill” as a play on his own name, and his cleverness isn’t restricted to wordplay. From the same Israel21c report, we can see that it was by going against the conventional yet incorrect wisdom that he figured out how to master this problem:
Breitbart says that the Bright Pill jams the sperm’s biochemical machinery. Disproving textbook science, he showed in the seminal paper that mature sperm cells synthesize new proteins in the uterus where they reside for up to three days or longer until fertilization of the egg takes place.
If tests continue to be successful on non-mice creatures, this could be just the breakthrough we need for a male birth control pill to become a reality.
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