The development of the elusive male contraceptive pill may be a step closer after researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston discovered a compound that led to temporary infertility in mice without affecting their sex drive.
The male contraceptive pill has been viewed as the next major milestone in contraception and the recent findings, published in the journal Cell, could provide a big boost towards achieving the goal. The researchers found that the drug, JQ1, affects a protein that is vital for the production of sperm and is present only in the testes.
The researchers revealed that the testes of the mice that were given the drug shrunk and they produced a smaller number of sperms which were less mobile, with some of the mice also becoming infertile.
"This compound produces a rapid and reversible decrease in sperm count and motility with profound effects on fertility. These findings suggest that a reversible, oral male contraceptive may be possible", Dr James Bradner, who worked on the study, said.