New male birth control pill found safe and effective

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While there may be concerns that a male contraceptive pill wouldn't work because men would forget to take it, study co-author Dr. Arthi Thirumalai of the University of Washington was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying it would be "quite old-fashioned" to draw such conclusions, as surveys had found that men are also willing to "take responsibility for contraception". The pill also contains a long-chain fatty acid called undecanoate, which slows the breakdown of the testosterone so that it remains effective all day in contrast to older editions.

"Despite having low levels of circulating testosterone, very few subjects reported symptoms consistent with testosterone deficiency or excess", Stephanie Page explained.

Researchers say they are "very excited" by the results, but DMAU hasn't been tested long enough to see if it decreases sperm production. DMAU is being developed by the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which funded this study. All of the men took the pills once per day with food for 28 days.

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The last big hope for a male birth control pill fell apart in 2016 when the drug was shown to damage the liver.

For now, even though the Male Contraceptive Initiative has provided a $US150,000 grant for the scientists to move into the next phase of developing the drug, Dr Ventura said how quick the pill is developed and released would depend on more funding. "Dimethandrolone is different than testosterone in that it binds to both the progesterone receptor and the androgen receptor so we don't need two different steroids in order to have an effective male contraceptive", Paige added.

A new study presented at the Endocrine Society's annual conference found a once-daily pill was effective in lowering hormones required for sperm production.

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As a result, men are not able to get their partners pregnant.

"The things we're going to be looking for in our further studies are changes in sexual desire or sexual activity, changes in mood, and changes in weight or other markers of metabolic health that would be important for people's long-term health", said Page. It's 99 per cent effective when taken perfectly, Planned Parenthood wrote, but added that it's hard to do this. Oral contraceptives are one of the medications most often used by Canadian women.

DMAU could provide a more updated approach to male contraception, similar to the contraception women use. She said that studies indicate that men would prefer oral contraception versus injection or gel implant.

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