Male Birth Control Pill Shows Promise

shutterstock_160868684.jpg

"The Pill" for Men

Researchers from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) and the University of Washington announced the results of a study, at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting this week, showing that an experimental oral male contraceptive appears to be safe and effective when taken daily.

The month-long study in LA, led by LA BioMed researcher Dr. Christina Wang, was performed on 83 healthy men between 18 and 50 years old who ingested the oral contraceptive pill on a daily basis. 

"Providing men with a practical and reversible contraceptive option is long over-due," Wang said.  "Sixty years after the pill was developed for women, men will now have options – that neither require surgery nor long-acting injections – to participate in family planning as equal partners."

Results showed that the experimental male oral contraceptive – called dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU) – produced hormone responses that are consistent with effective male contraception seen in other longer-term studies.  At the highest dose of DMAU tested, 400 mg, subjects showed "marked suppression" of testosterone levels and two hormones required for sperm production, without showing change in mood or sexual function.  Further studies are under way.

Results from global surveys have suggested that more than eighty percent of men would be interested in a reversible male contraceptive if one were available.  And more than thirty percent of males surveyed said they prefer a daily oral pill to other options available.

Driven by the positive social impacts of breakthrough therapies and treatments, this study is another innovative solution developed by the biomedical leadership of LA BioMed, furthering its reputation of changing and saving lives – such as it did with the 2017 FDA approval of Endari, which is the first sickle cell treatment for adults in twenty years and the first ever for infants.

Anabel Marquez