Leave the Birth Control to Him: Oral Contraceptives for Men

For the last 50 years, men have had very few options when it comes to birth control. All that could be changing. Researchers have discovered two new promising methods for preventing pregnancy. This research could lead to a new birth control pill and an injectable form of birth control for men.

According to ABC News, the potential new oral contraceptive for men, known as BMS-189453, was developed originally as a skin and inflammatory disease treatment. However, the drug had detrimental effects on men’s’ sperm production.

BMS-189453 stops sperm production by blocking receptors necessary for metabolizing vitamin A, explains Fox News. Vitamin A is needed to make sperm. In a study on male mice, the mice became sterile after using the drug. However, once the drug was stopped, sperm production returned to normal.

An injectable birth control for men is also on the horizon. Huffington Post reports on this technique developed by Indian scientist Sujoy Guha called Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance, or RISUG. Once injected, RISUG forms a gel along the vas deferens and basically blocks sperm from traveling through the vas deferens and out of the body. The gel lasts for about 10-15 years and is completely reversible. A second injection dissolves the gel, making the passageway open to sperm again.