A male contraceptive pill could exist as early as 2021

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A male contraceptive pill could exist as early as 2021

It works within minutes to stop sperm swimming

Rejoice! The daily grind of taking a pill that was originally meant for men could soon be a thing of the past, as more advances have been made in researching into the male contraceptive pill.

Researchers at Wolverhampton University have developed a formula that deactivates the protein in sperm which enables it to swim. One pill can last a few days, meaning that for those days the sperm will be unable to swim to the egg and fertilise it.

Although the contraceptive pill was originally designed by men, the female pill has been the most widely used form of contraceptive since the 1960s. Despite side effects which sometimes include blood clots and depression, research into a safer male alternative has not been looked into much until recently.

Tests have been conducted on male contraceptives in the past but, up until now, they have been largely ineffective. However, this new approach targets sperm cells directly, immobilising the tail the moves the sperm towards the egg. This contraceptive could take the form of either a pill or a nasal spray.

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One of the main perks of this compared with the female contraceptive pill, is that it only takes hours, or even minutes to kick in. Professor John Howl told the Daily Mail that, “The results are startling- and almost instant.” Women are encouraged to take the pill at the same time everyday for at least a week before it becomes effective.

It is about time that all the responsibility did not fall on women. If, as this research suggests, there is a much quicker and safer way of controlling fertility then it will change the way we view contraception. The original male pill was rejected because men did not like the side effects. If a male pill comes onto the market hopefully there will be suitable education about it and men will begin to take it. If the tests continue to go well, this new form of contraception could be available as early as 2021.

However, there are concerns from women as well. A study by Anglia Ruskin University found that more than 50 per cent of women didn’t trust men to remember to take the pill. So maybe not as much of a sexual revolution as originally hoped.

Are you a man? Would you take the contraceptive pill? Take our poll below. 

@sophlwilson

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