For years, birth control modes and measures have been sought by the mankind. This is done so as to avoid giving birth to kids when the parents are not yet ready or without proper planning. Until now, the birth control methods were mostly available exclusively for women. But now, there may be an effective male birth control pill on its way.
The impetus for the development of such a pill was rather accidental. Bradner, of Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, was working on creating such a molecule which could inhibit the cancerous traits of cancer cells. Instead, while working on it, he realized that the molecule JQ1, can also effectively inhibit such protein in the testes which are critical for reproduction.
According to Bradner and Martin Matzuk of Baylor College of Medicine, “In mating studies, JQ1 accomplishes a complete and reversible contraceptive effect in males without adversely affecting testosterone levels or mating behaviors and without prompting obvious [birth defects] in offspring.”
So how does this new molecule work? It is very small in size and so, it can easily pass into the bloodstream and then into the testes. Once it reaches the testes, it binds itself to BRDT, which is a critically important protein for reproduction.
Bradner further says, “These cells effectively forget how to make mature sperm. The result is a profound decrease in sperm count and impared motility, leading to a complete contraceptive effect. It’s really stunning.”
Unlike other rare male birth control methods which are difficult, this new molecule can be taken in the form of a pill or simply injected. Bradner, together with his fellows, is apparently testing the affects of the molecule rigorously and is hopeful that by next year, they will have a solid idea of the efficacy of this molecule for male birth control.
Courtesy: US News