It seems the male contraceptive pill may not be as far off as first thought, with new research revealing a breakthrough in gene science.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have reportedly discovered a “vital” gene called called Katnal1, which is responsible for supporting and providing nutrients to sperm. Scientists believe that if this gene is blocked, it “could stop mature sperm ready for fertilisation being released from the testes.”
This essentially means that the effects of the drug would be reversible, because “Katnal1 only affects sperm cells in the later stages of development, so it would not hinder the early states of sperm production and the overall ability to produce sperm,” explained Dr Lee Smith from the University of Edinburgh.
However, it seems the news may fall flat for some, with the Family Planning Association releasing data showing that only a third of men would consider trialling a contraceptive pill.
“When news stories of potential male contraceptives are released, the enthusiasm of the potential discovery always seems to be tempered by quotes from sceptics, who claim that men either can’t be bothered to take birth control pills, or that women can’t trust them to do so,” said a spokesperson for Health Express in the UK.
“Cynics usually weigh in as well, pointing out that pharmaceutical companies don’t really want birth control options for men – especially not in the form of a cheap, one-off injection – because money-making in that area is limited. Whether you believe this is true or not will depend on your own levels of cynicism.”
Would you trust your male partner to take the pill?