Australian researchers are developing a hormone-free male contraceptive pill that could be available in five to 10 years.
It wouldn’t impact fertility and could even increase male libido.
According to News Ltd papers, scientists from Monash University’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences claim if the next stage of drug development is successful, trials could commence.
The question remains as to whether men will actually use it, and will women trust them to take it?
“There is a lot of social science research that shows men are happy to take control of contraception and women are happy to let them do it,” Monash University’s Dr Sab Ventura told News Ltd.
“But it’s very hard to say without one on the market.”
Researchers claim the hormone-free pill is set to bypass side-effects such as infertility, birth defects and sexual activity that have so far interfered with the development of a male pill.
The new approach aims to use chemicals to switch off the brain signal that causes sperm to be released from the body.
Previous research has shown to produce infertility in mice by genetically deleting two proteins that trigger the transport of sperm.
“With this non-hormonal approach, sperm are unaffected so the contraception is likely to be readily reversible once the medication has been stopped,” Dr Ventura explained.
A $US150,000 grant from the Male Contraceptive Initiative in the US has allowed researchers to move into this next phase of drug development, while also providing funds to several other alternative male contraception projects.
Until now, the quest for a male contraceptive has been hindered by lack of funding.