Scientists from Monash University have moved a step closer to developing a male contraceptive pill.
Funding from the Male Contraceptive Initiative has allowed the next stage of drug development to commence.
The hormone-free oral contraceptive would work to block two proteins that trigger transport of sperm during ejaculation.
The pill would not have long-term side effects on fertility, birth defects in future offspring or libido.
Monash University lead researcher Sab Ventura said the genetic study proved sperm would remain healthy and viable after taking the medication.
“Previous strategies have often interfered with male sexual activity and caused long-term irreversible effects,” she said.
“With this non-hormonal approach, sperm is unaffected, so the contraception is likely to be readily reversible once the medication has been stopped.”
If the drug is successfully developed, the pill could be on the market in five-to-ten years.
Researchers are still relying on further funding to fast-track the process.
We asked students at Curtin University what they think of a contraceptive pill for men.