More than 50 years after women started taking the pill, scientists have announced they are on the cusp of developing a birth control pill for men.
The breakthrough, which has been tested on mice, targets the protein that instructs sperm to mature. It only lasts while the drug is being taken, and there are no impacts on hormones or sex drive, they say. Once the mice had stopped taking the pill, they sired healthy litters.
James Bradner, of the Dana-Farber Cancer institute at Harvard, says he stumbled on the discovery while working on a molecule to make cancer cells forget they were cancer.
He said the protein could be delivered via pill, injection or a cream.
“As early as next year, we may have a sense of how well this works in humans,” he told the New York Daily News.
Dr Bradner is still working on the cancer project. “What was initially a side project in our laboratory has become a major focus of our research … we’re still aggressively advancing a derivative of it as a cancer drug.”
However, some say that even if a reliable pill came on the market – which would still be at least five years away - women should not trust birth control to men because they are the ones who have to shoulder the responsibility of an unplanned pregnancy if their partners make a mistake.
Your say: How would you feel about trusting birth control to your partner?