A birth control pill for men? When?

September 26, 2012

When will men have their own birth control pill? Scientists have been predicting the debut of a male pill within 5 years for the last 30 years. The factors accounting for that delay—and new optimism that a male pill will emerge within a decade—are the topic of a story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News. C&EN is the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

In the story, Michael M. Torrice, C&EN associate editor, describes the need for a male version of the oral contraceptive pill that revolutionized family planning 50 years ago. For example, there are few choices of contraceptives for , half of all U.S. pregnancies are unintended, and those pregnancies cost state and federal programs about $11 billion annually.

Despite that need, the few pharmaceutical companies working to develop a male pill have discontinued research during the last five years. The story explains the scientific and regulatory hurdles in developing new contraceptives and describes promising new research on so-called non-hormonal male contraceptives.

Explore further: Gradual bone reduction seen in some pill users

More information: "Hunt for the Male Pill: Scientists Search for a Drug that Can Reversibly Derail Sperm Production": cen.acs.org/articles/90/i39/Hunt-Male-Contraceptive-Pill-Continues.html

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