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Male Birth Control Pill Is on the Horizon

The prospect of a daily, oral male birth control pill might be a reality sooner than later. Theeeee have funded a study that developed dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU.

According to Science Daily, the pill "combines activity of an androgen (male hormone) like testosterone, and a progestin, and is taken once a day." Earlier attempts at a male birth control pill were unsuccessful because testosterone can cause liver inflammation, and it also leaves the body too quickly, making it necessary to take the pill twice in a day.

But DMAU proved promising in a recent study conducted by the University of Washington Medical Center and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. The addition of undecanoate, "a long-chain fatty acid," makes the testosterone last longer in the system.

The men who participated in the research, and who took the highest dose of the pill (400mg), showed "marked suppression" of three hormones (including testosterone) needed to produce sperm. The study's senior investigator, Stephanie Page, M.D., Ph.D., said that despite having low levels of circulating testosterone, "very few subjects reported symptoms consistent with testosterone deficiency or excess."

While the men who took the pill all showed slight weight gain and lowered HDL ("good") cholesterol, these side effects were mild. Most importantly, the blood tests showed that there was no issue regarding kidney or liver functions.

Studies on DMAU will continue in order to confirm that if taken daily, it will, in fact, block the production of sperm and can act as an effective form of birth control.