A male contraceptive pill that “blocks sperm’ and increases libido is about to enter what could be the final stage of development in a major medical breakthrough.
The first hormone-free and reversible male pill that wouldn’t impact libido or fertility pill is being developed by Australian researchers at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the New York Post reported.
The Male Contraceptive Initiative has provided a $150,000 grant for the Melbourne scientists to move into the next phase of developing the drug which would work by blocking two proteins that cause sperm to be released, according to lead researcher Dr Sab Ventura.
“It just stops the contraction of the muscle which would normally be moving sperm along. So the sperm are fine, they haven’t been touched, they’re still completely normal, they just haven’t been moving at the right time,” he said.
If the final stage of development is successful, trials would then commence and the pill could be on the market within five to 10 years.
Ventura said the team was “moving closer to developing a convenient, safe and effective, non-hormonal oral male contraceptive that can be readily reversed.”
“We aim to do this by developing a combination of two drugs that simultaneously block sperm transport rather than disrupt sperm development or maturation,” Ventura said.
“It’s pretty different. Most of the other ones that have been tried have been affecting hormones or genetics.”
The drug could also have a second function on users by increasing libido in men.
“The type of drugs we’re looking at may improve sexual function in men because they dilate blood vessels and that is what Viagra does,” Ventura said.
But its development and release date are all dependent on funding, according to researchers.
“The question’s not ‘how long?’ it’s more about ‘how much?’”Ventura said.
“The faster the money comes in, the faster it will happen.”