The experimental male oral contraceptive is called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU.
“DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily ‘male pill’,” said Stephanie Page, M.D., PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Washington. “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.”
Researchers say they are ‘very excited’ by the results, but DMAU hasn’t been tested long enough to see if it decreases sperm production.
“Our last great advance in male contraception was 300 years ago with the development of the condom,” Page told a news conference.
A previous at creating a male birth control pill was shown to damage the liver, and had to be taken twice a day, according to NBC News.
No major side effects were reported.
“Despite testosterone levels that were very low, the men had no symptoms,” Page said. “No hot flashes – the men had normal moods,” she added.
“We did see some mild weight gain and a little bit of a change in cholesterol levels,” she added.
“These promising results are unprecedented in the development of a prototype male pill,” Page said. “Longer term studies are currently under way to confirm that DMAU taken every day blocks sperm production.”