Birth Control Pill for Men Closer to Becoming a Reality
Gene discovered that causes temporary infertility
The idea of a birth control pill for men may soon become a reality.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have recently discovered a gene that is essential for the development of sperm, according to Fox News.
The gene, Katnal1, causes temporary infertility in male mice when blocked.
But extreme precaution would have to be taken if applied to humans, as blocking Katnal1 would render a man sterile for the rest of his life, according to Dr. Lee Smith, the study’s lead author.
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Therefore, a male pill would not only need to be effective in stopping sperm production, but also be just as effective in having it start back up again.
Lee further identified that Katnal1 was used to regulate microtubules – parts of sperms that are needed for support and acquisition of nutrients. Breaking these down prevents sperms’ ability to move throughout the testes during their maturation.
The gene’s discovery not only paves the way for a male contraceptive pill, but could also aid in better understanding cases of male infertility.