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Elsewhere – New male birth control pill could be new wave of the future

(U-WIRE) AMHERST, Mass. –

“Don’t worry, I’m on the pill.”

One day, that could be a man speaking.

With the new agreement between the Norwegian-based company Spermatech AS, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, that day may come sooner than you think.

Spermatech researchers are in the planning stages of creating a drug that could possibly block sperm’s ability to swim as well as its ability to fertilize an egg.

This would not be the first attempt in creating birth control for men, but it would be the first to avoid tinkering with male hormones.

Previously, researchers have found that it is extremely difficult to suppress sperm production while maintaining normal male hormone levels. A drop in a man’s hormone levels would likely cause a lowered muscle mass, a loss of sexual drive, and other testosterone-related effects.

This new drug would instead affect a specific protein in the production of sperm that would inhibit their movement while forgoing the hormonal side effects that women currently experience in taking the pill.

“I think it’s great that we’ll be given a chance to contribute in the act of birth control,” said Dirk Barron, a junior at UMass. “A birth control pill could act as a back-up to condoms, which might break during sex.”

February 15, 2005

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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