Men may soon have their version of a contraceptive that doesn’t have any negative side effects.
A new study in the journal PLOS ONE details how a compound called EP055 binds to sperm proteins to significantly slow the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones.
According to the researchers, EP055 is a potential “male pill” without side effects.
“Simply put, the compound turns-off the sperm’s ability to swim, significantly limiting fertilization capabilities,” said Michael O’Rand, the lead investigator.
“This makes EP055 an ideal candidate for non-hormonal male contraception,” the retired professor of cell biology and physiology at the University of North Carolina added.
During the study, thirty hours following a high-dose intravenous infusion of EP055 in male rhesus macaques, O’Rand and researchers in the Oregon National Primate Research Center at OHSU found no indication of normal sperm motility.
In addition, no physical side effects were observed.
As far as the medical world is concerned, condoms and surgical vasectomy are currently the only safe forms of birth control for men.
There are hormonal drugs in clinical trials that target the production of sperm, but these affect the natural hormones in men much like female contraceptives affect hormones in women.