Berkeley Scientists Developing Birth Control Pill for Men

Scientists at the YourChoice Therapeutics lab at the University of California, Berkeley have been developing a new hormone-free birth control that’s not just for women.

Scientist Nadja Mannowetz said that drugging sperm cells with a small molecule they’ve been working on, results in sperm cells that are deprived in energy.

"So they cannot swim from point A to point B," Mannowetz said.

If sperm cells can’t reach a woman’s egg, they can’t fertilize it. The plan is to create a pull that men can take -- a game changer.

"I think it’s interesting that we’re finally putting the weight on men to control their responsibility," said UC Berkeley student Allie.

Since the drug doesn’t use hormones, researchers said the side effects are minimal.

"If it didn’t have a lot of negative side effects to it, I’s consider it," said student Christian Murray.

The scientists are repurposing a drug that’s already in wide use around the world to treat tape worms.

"It prevents tape worms from being able to reproduce. So, it zaps them of their energy to reproduce. And we’re doing exactly the same thing, just with human sperm," said scientist Akash Bakashi.

Before a pill is made, they plan on creating a hormone-free product that woman can by over the counter. Their hope is to have a spermicidal gel available for sale by 2025.

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