Potential male contraceptive stops sperm, doesn't affect hormones

Maricruz Casares
Abril 20, 2018

A new study published Thursday in the journal "PLOS ONE" explains how a compound called EP055 binds to sperm to significantly slow the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones, making EP055 a potential "male pill" without side effects.

University of North Carolina and Oregon State scientists showed in preclinical trials that a new form of male contraceptive can immobilize sperm temporarily without side effects.

Currently, condoms and surgical vasectomy are only used for a birth control available in men.

New male hormonal and non-hormonal contraceptives are under development that targets either the production of sperm (spermatogenesis) or the delivery of sperm. "This makes EP055 an ideal candidate for non-hormonal male contraception." he further added, as ANI reports.

"Simply put, the compound turns-off the sperm's ability to swim, significantly limiting fertilization capabilities", said lead investigator of the study. Beyond that there are hormonal drugs in clinical trial stages that are created to target the production of sperm, but these can affect a man's natural hormones much like a female pill can affect a woman's hormones.

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Before concluding, the researchers in the Oregon National Primate Research Center at OHSU in Portland, Oregon, US observed male rhesus macaques for thirty hours after they were injected with infusion of EP055.

"At 18 days post-infusion, all macaques showed signs of complete recovery, suggesting that the EP055 compound is indeed reversible", said study co-investigator Mary Zelinski, who is the research associate professor at the ONPRC at OHSU and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the OHSU School of Medicine.

The researchers said there is a lot of time before EP055 becomes available for human use.

They hope to conduct a monkey mating trial soon to prove the compound's effectiveness against pregnancy.

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