Scientists: Male birth control pill may be ready soon

By Rachel McNeill, Anchor/Medical Expert, rmcneill@kprc.com
Published On: Nov 27 2012 05:31:05 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 27 2012 05:36:28 PM CST

Nov. 27, 2012: Scientists are developing a birth control pill for men, which means women may no longer need to take the pill to prevent pregnancy. Rachel McNeill reports.

HOUSTON -

Scientists are developing a birth control pill for men, which means women may no longer need to take the pill to prevent pregnancy.

The drug is currently in experimental phases across the country, but scientists said they are close to making male birth control pills a reality.

Local 2 investigated the community's reaction to male birth control as a viable contraceptive by talking with a group of college freshmen and asking if men would be willing to take the pill to prevent pregnancy.

"I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea," said John Bigelow. "But I'd have to find out the efforts of it and how reliable it is in order to have an opinion on it."

"I would trust women more (about taking the pill regularly) because of how they are more on schedule," said Kaitlyn Tuohy, a college student.

Scientists working on compounds meant to block a cancer-causing gene found that male mice became infertile, producing far fewer and less mobile sperm.  It's just one of many findings throughout the world that could broaden the choice in contraceptives.

"For a lot of guys, that might be a scary concept, that you can be infertile for a couple of weeks," said Dr. Mehmet Oz, a surgeon and TV personality.  "But that said, the idea of having a pill instead of an operation that's not easy to reverse, is an appealing one."

According to Planned Parenthood, more than 99 percent of sexually active women between the ages of 15 and 44 have used birth control at some point.

Birth control pills do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

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