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Sunday, April 1, 2018

A pill shows promise as a male contraceptive

Por Rory

A new contraceptive pill for men seems to be safe when used daily for a month, with hormonal responses consistent with effective contraception, according to a study conducted in the United States, specifically with the collaboration between the University of Washington and the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center of the University of California and with a sample of 83 men between 18 and 50 years, in which the researchers detected a marked suppression of the levels of testosterone and of two hormones needed to produce semen.

The results were presented during the 100th annual meeting of the American Endocrine Society, which takes place in Chicago, Illinois. The method of operation is quite similar to the female pill, pills that are taken for a month, on a regular basis and without skipping any day; the results have shown that, for the time being and in the trials, the pill is effective.

The name is DMAU, a diminutive of the words dimetandrolone and undecanoate, and could become the first effective oral contraceptive pill for men. It is currently an experimental pill, but this androgen (male hormones) binds to testosterone and a progestin (a substance of action similar to progesterone that acts on the lining of the uterus, which in high doses can alter the consistency of this, so it is used in contraceptives to prevent reproduction). Good news considering that attempts to develop male pills previously had not had very good results.

Like the women's pill, the experimental male oral contraceptive is taken once a day, says the study's lead researcher, Stephanie Page, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, in Seattle. "DMAU is an important step forward in the development of a male pill once a day," says Page. Many men say they would prefer a daily pill as a reversible contraceptive, instead of long-acting injections or topical gels, which are also in development. "

Progress towards a male contraceptive pill has been hampered because, according to Page, the available oral forms of testosterone can cause liver inflammation and are eliminated from the body too quickly for administration once a day, requiring two doses per day. However, DMAU contains undecanoate, a long-chain fatty acid, which says it slows down this expulsion. DMAU is being developed by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Eunice Kennedy Shriver, which funded this study.

"These promising results are unprecedented in the development of a male pill prototype," Page emphasizes. Currently, longer-term studies are underway to confirm that DMAU taken every day blocks sperm production. "