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Medicine Biotech Science

Birth Control For Men Edges Closer 407

ananyo writes "Developing oral contraceptives for men has not gone as swiftly as researchers imagined in the early 1970s; they suggested at the time that a 'male pill' was not far off. But researchers now report a new way to make male mice temporarily infertile. Although the treatment is not ready for human use, the method avoids some of the pitfalls of earlier attempts. The technique appears to have a much more specific action than previous methods: it impairs sperm production by blocking a protein called BRDT. This protein was singled out as a potential therapeutic target five years ago because it only occurs in the testes, where it is required for the division of sperm cells. If the approach proves safe in humans, it would be an improvement over hormone-based methods of male contraception, which are not completely effective and cause side effects such as mood swings, acne and a loss of libido (abstract). On the downside, however, the compound 'shrank the mice's testes.'"
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Birth Control For Men Edges Closer

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  • by guises ( 2423402 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @06:54AM (#41044303)
    Have a look at RISUG: []

    Development is much further along than this drug, RISUG could be available within the next five-ten years. It's available right now if you're in India and willing to be a guinea pig. No testicle shrinkage, though the Wikipedia article say there might be other drawbacks. The article says that there's no evidence for adverse effects though... which makes me wonder why it brings that up at all.
  • Re:Nice tagline... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Whiteox ( 919863 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @07:02AM (#41044325) Journal

    Large sacks are good as they allow the balls to swing and pound for the extra thrill.

  • Re:Nice tagline... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @07:07AM (#41044335)

    The page 5 of the original article PDF [] has a size comparison of disected specimens. The treated mice testes weight is roughly halved but the size is 2^(1/3) ~ >0.70 of the untreated ones.

    There is a meassurement device called Prader orchidometer [] that works by comparison with standarized orbs. It's very difficult to get an accurate size/volume in vivo without using ultrasounds and if even the orchidometer method is not precise much less expect that anybody could notice a significant difference just looking at them.

    Certainly after some time not even yourself will notice at all. Definitely noticeable if meassured or compared side by side, but most probably irrelevant for a partner. The major issue may be the own psychological selfesteem burden that some insecure people could have of knowing that their testes shrank a bit, but far worse and by large would be that you got instead a vasectomy and later couldn't reverse it.

    Always could do nothing and let all the responsability to your girlfriend/wife behaving like a macho(TM) or just ask for her opinion about it and decide together since also are "her nuts".

  • Because the wording (Score:4, Informative)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:27AM (#41045027)
    is structured in a way to implies that the government making things safer is a bad thing. It's a loaded comment with a surprising amount of things implied, and the sentiment behind it is why we get stuff like this [].

    Plus it's ridiculously [] well documented that the government makes things safer.
  • by hazah ( 807503 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:08AM (#41045771)
    OK, then perhaps you shouldn't stick your pecker into things it can get pregnant. Grasping that?
  • Re:Wishful thinking (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cazekiel ( 1417893 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @03:07PM (#41047609)

    I said voice, didn't I? Even if I didn't, the voice change doesn't last longer than a few years, neither does the formation of an Adam's Apple. By the time a man is grown at 18-21, they're basically in the same body they'll be in at 60. Changes, yes, but the norm for both sexes. Erectile dysfunction is stay or go, yes. But I'm talking long-term effects that you have to deal with, some quite unpleasantly.

    "Perhaps we don't actually give birth, but aside from that, the physical frustrations of our sexes are at least equal, any day." I'm sorry, but this is so completely false. I'm not being snarky, it's just that... you don't bleed out of your penis every month with severe cramping and even vomiting (that was a big, big issue in high school and college for me--still happens every now and again), you don't lose your penis' functions as a whole through male-menopause (erectile dysfunction doesn't trump menopause, I'm sorry; you can still have a kid at 80, if you so chose) and your chest doesn't explode out at 12 or so to make back-breaking lumps you gotta lug around for the rest of your life. Men have their changes, but they don't come close.

  • Re:Nice tagline... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @03:47PM (#41047839)

    Somebody's never had to pay child support.

  • Re:Eh... (Score:4, Informative)

    by makomk ( 752139 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @05:41PM (#41048669) Journal

    You're missing one important aspect of drug testing: without sufficient testing, we can't actually know that the drug will save 10% of heart patients. Until we've tested the drug in large-scale, well conducted clinical trials and then carefully checked those trials over for the usual drug company shenanigans, for all we know it actually kills 5% of patients that would otherwise survive.

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson