Oral contraceptive for men on the horizon

June 6, 2011 at 5:52 PM
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BOSTON, June 6 (UPI) -- An oral contraceptive that made male mice sterile, which was reversible after the drug was stopped -- may be promising for men, U.S. researchers say.

First author Sanny S.W. Chung of Columbia University Medical Center in New York and colleagues say the study found low doses of the drug stopped sperm production with no apparent side effects and normal fertility was restored soon after drug administration was terminated.

"We have seen no side effects, so far, and our mice have been mating quite happily," senior author Dr. Debra J. Wolgemuth of Columbia University Medical Center said in a statement.

However, to make the pill a reality, researchers need to show the compound is safe, effective -- and reversible -- when used for years, the researchers say.

"An additional benefit of our compound is that it can be taken orally as a pill, avoiding the injection process," Chung says.

"It also appears to have a very rapid effect on sperm production and an even more rapid recovery when fertility is desired."

The findings were presented at ENDO: The 93rd annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Boston and published in the journal Endocrinology.

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