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Male contraception tablets have promising benefits: Study

by Pragati Singh

According to a new study, two experimental male contraceptive tablets appear to efficiently suppress testosterone without generating undesirable side effects.

The findings will be presented at the annual conference of the Endocrine Society in Atlanta, Georgia. The medications, known as DMAU and 11b-MNTDC, are classified as progestogenic androgens. These medications reduce sperm count by suppressing testosterone. Lowering testosterone levels usually has unpleasant side effects, but the majority of the men in the research were eager to continue using the medications, indicating that the negative effects were tolerable.

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“Male contraception options are currently restricted to vasectomy and condoms, and are thus extremely limited as compared to female options,” said lead researcher Tamar Jacobsohn of the Contraceptive Development Program at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. “Development of an effective, reversible male contraceptive method will improve reproductive options for men and women, have a major impact on public health by decreasing unintended pregnancy, and allow men to have an increasingly active role in family planning.”

The study included 96 healthy male participants in two Phase 1 clinical trials. In each trial, the men were randomly assigned to receive two or four oral pills of active drug or placebo daily for 28 days.

Testosterone levels fell below normal after seven days on the active medication. Testosterone levels remained normal in those who took the placebo.

Significant difference in males consuming different dosages

According to the research, 75% of males who took the real medicine stated they would use it again in the future, compared to 46.4 percent of those who took a placebo. Those who received the four-pill daily dosage (400 milligrammes) had lower testosterone levels than men who took the two-pill, 200-milligram dose. There was no significant difference in satisfaction with the medicine or desire to use it again or recommend it to others between the two active treatment groups.

“Men’s excellent clinical trial experiences and high acceptance ratings for this male pill should excite the public about male birth control potentially becoming widely available in the future decades,” Jacobsohn added.

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