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New Male Birth Control Pill Prevents Pregnancy

Men have only two effective options for birth control: male condoms and vasectomy. Now men’s birth control options are also expanding. Scientists report a non-hormonal male contraceptive that effectively prevents pregnancy in mice without side effects. The study was published in the American Chemical Society.The study is a hybrid meeting held virtually and in-person from March 20-24, with on-demand access available from March 21-April 8. The meeting features more than 12,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.

Condoms are single-use only and prone to failure. In contrast, vasectomy is a surgical procedure considered a permanent form of male sterilization. Although vasectomies can sometimes be reversed, the reversal surgery is expensive and not consistently successful. Therefore, men need an effective, long-lasting but reversible contraceptive like Birth Control Pill for women.

The researchers targeted the retinoic acid receptor alpha (RAR-a) protein to create a new Birth Control Pill. This protein is one of a family of three nuclear receptors that bind retinoic acid, a form of vitamin A that plays an essential role in cell growth, differentiation, and embryonic development. Striking the retinoic acid receptor alpha gene in male mice makes them sterile, without any noticeable side effects.

Other scientists have developed an oral compound that inhibits all three members of the RAR family and causes reversible sterility in male mice. Georg’s team and their reproductive biology collaborators wanted to find a specific drug for RAR-a. The researchers acknowledge support and funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Male Contraceptive Initiative. Georg is a consultant with your choice Therapeutics.

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