The male contraceptive pill is now one step closer to being a reality 2 years ago

The male contraceptive pill is now one step closer to being a reality

A clinical trial found the pill does no harm to a man's sex drive.

We could be one step closer to having access to a male contraceptive pill, after scientists announced that they have developed a pill which is safe and does not harm sex drive.

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The drug is called called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU, includes a long-chain fatty acid which slows down the clearance, allowing just one dose to be taken each day.

Investigators at the University of Washington Medical Centre tested three doses of DMAU - 100, 200 and 400mg - on 100 healthy men between 18 to 50 years old, 83 of whom completed the study.

The experimental pill combines activity of an androgen - a male hormone such as testosterone - and a progestin.

There were some negative side effects, such as weight gain and a decrease in HDL ('good') cholesterol, but all subjects passed their safety markers. "DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily 'male pill'," said Professor Page, senior investigator on the study.

This would be the first alternative to the condom for temporary male contraception.

"Many men say they would prefer a daily pill as a reversible contraceptive, rather than long-acting injections or topical gels, which are also in development", Professor Page added.