The tests did not show whether taking the male birth control drug actually reduced sperm production to levels that would prevent pregnancy, but contraceptive effectiveness will be tested in another trial beginning in April, Fox News reported.
"Despite having low levels of circulating testosterone, very few subjects reported symptoms consistent with testosterone deficiency or excess", said senior investigator Stephanie Page, a professor at the University of Washington's Department of Medicine, as quoted by Newsweek.
More importantly, there were no major side-effects.
Eighty-three men aged 18 to 50 completed the study, which tested the effects of different doses (100, 200, and 400 milligrams) and formulations inside capsules (castor oil and powder) of DMAU. The drug is being developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the group also funded the study, which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Men can also have a vasectomy, but this method is invasive and often not reversible.
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Plus the pills must be taken with food or they won't work. It also required two doses a day."It's hard enough to do not forget to take a pill once a day", Page said.
The last big hope for a male birth control pill fell apart in 2016 when the drug was shown to damage the liver.
The researchers presented their findings from the clinical trial on the male birth control pills at The Endocrine Society's annual meeting over the weekend. The pills need to be taken with food to be effective, she said.
The journey of creating such a pill has not been free of challenges that puzzled the scientists but they have managed to pass over them and to reach the point at which they were able to produce 100% working and safe contraceptive pills for men.
There's a new contraceptive in town (well, not now, but possibly soon) and it aims to put the responsibility of safe sex square in the hands of men. Those who took the highest dose of DMAU had "marked suppression" of testosterone levels and of two hormones needed for the creation of sperm. All passed safety tests including those suggestive of liver and kidney health, a hurdle previous attempts at male contraceptives have failed to meet.
'Many men said they would prefer a daily pill as a reversible contraceptive, rather than long-acting injections or topical gels, which are also in development'.