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A male pill could be on the horizon after early trials showed a once-daily tablet was safe and appeared to work, according to researchers.

This new male contraceptive pill is a drug called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU.

"DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily "male pill", said Page, who is a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, in a statement.

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"Although little testosterone is circulating, very few people have symptoms consistent with a testosterone deficiency", Trang said.

Once the tests were completed, the researchers found that the men who were given the 400-milligram doses had significantly lower testosterone levels, with two gonadotropins, or hormones used in sperm production, successfully suppressed.

A total of 100 healthy men aged 18 to 50 took part in the clinical trials for the male contraceptive, which were conducted by researchers from the University Washington Medical Center, with 83 of them staying on until the end of the study. DMAU is developed by the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, that also sponsored this study.

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The idea of contraceptive pills for men has been floating about for some time now. The groups who took DMAU experienced weight gain and had lowered levels of HDL, or "good" cholesterol, side effects that Page noted were mild. For example, oral testosterone drugs usually leave the body quickly - meaning that men would have to take the pills twice a day for the drug to be effective, Page said. Maybe the study that begins in April will present us encouraging findings as well as the one presented at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago, on Sunday. It found that an experimental drug is both safe and effective.

DMAU works by interrupting the signal between the brain and the testicles, Page said. The team is now currently working on developing a second compound to block the other sperm-transporting protein with a goal of bringing a hormone-free, reversible male pill to the general public within ten years. DMAU "does have the promise of blocking sperm production", Courgi said. All passed safety tests including those suggestive of liver and kidney health, a hurdle previous attempts at male contraceptives have failed to meet.

More research is needed before DMAU becomes a viable option for male birth control.

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"And 60 to 80 percent of men surveyed in such studies say if there was a reversible contraceptive available, they would be very interested in using it".


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