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Male Contraception

By on October 6, 2013

There has been so many news stories recently on contraception rights for women, abortion rights, etc. But men may soon face similar focus as Scottish scientists have discovered a gene that plays a key role in production of healthy sperm, a breakthrough in the future development of a new contraceptive pill for men.

Detailing their findings in the journal PLos Genetics,  researchers said a drug which interrupts Katnal1 could be a reversible contraceptive. So far only mice have been used in the study. Contraception in men is largely down to condoms or a vasectomy, but experts said there was “certainly a need” for such a drug.

Scientists hoped they would be able to perform a similar trick in humans to stop sperm developing, without causing lasting damage.

Dr Lee Smith, one of the study authors, said: “If we can find a way to target this gene in the testes, we could potentially develop a non-hormonal contraceptive. The important thing is that the effects of such a drug would be reversible because Katnal1 only affects sperm cells in the later stages of development, so it would not hinder the early stages of sperm production and the overall ability to produce sperm.”

The mere concept of male contraception, even if far away could revolutionize the national and global conversation about reproductive health and family planning.  Stay tuned to healthyblackmen.org for updates.

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