American researchers are working on a non-hormonal male pill (unlike that of women) that aims to keep sperm motionless.
Hormonal medications to replace the condom and vasectomy as a male contraceptive method are being tested. Like women’s pills, they affect natural hormones in men. Researchers at the University of North Carolina in the United States are working on a hormonal pill. The results of their research appeared in PLOS ONE.
Male contraceptives can affect either sperm production or delivery. One of the preferred targets for making a man temporarily infertile is therefore to target the mobility of spermatozoa. The researchers worked with a compound called EP055, which binds to a protein on the surface of the cell, EPPIN. This connection then makes it immobile, considerably limiting its capacity for fertilization.
This molecule has been tested on monkeys. Thirty hours after a high intravenous infusion of EP055, the motility of the spermatozoa in the monkeys was impaired. 18 days after the infusion, this effect had completely disappeared and the spermatozoa had regained their natural mobility. This suggests that the effect of EP055 is reversible. By the way, who says non-hormonal pill, says no side effects.
In any case, many additional studies will have to follow before considering a potential marketing.