Reports LiveScience via MNN:
Equality for men may be on the horizon — contraceptive equality, that is. For more than a half century, women have been able to pop a pill to prevent pregnancy, but a pharmaceutical alternative has never emerged for men.
Now, research to interfere with the body’s ability to use vitamin A is showing some promise, because, in men, vitamin A is necessary for the production of sperm.
One recent study found that a compound that interferes with the body’s ability to use vitamin A rendered male mice sterile while they were receiving 8- or 16-week courses. But once the mice were taken off the compound, they resumed making sperm. Significantly, the researchers found no side effects, and the testosterone levels of the mice stayed normal, meaning no fluctuations in mousey libido.
“Our mice, they mate quite happily, so that is not something we have interfered with,” said Debra Wolgemuth, one of the study researchers and a professor of genetics and development at Columbia University Medical Center.