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Male Birth Control Pills Could Be Here Before You Know It

the-pill
Tim Matsui, Getty Images

Enlightened guys of the world (or those who simply don’t want to be stuck with 18 years of child support payments) have long wished for a form of reversible birth control they don’t have to describe using the word “rubber.”

To those men we say, “Get fired up!” — because a male birth control pill could be just over the horizon. To the rest of you we say, rubber, because it makes us giggle.

Researchers have discovered that when a drug dubbed JQ1 is used on mice, it brings about a “rapid and reversible decrease in sperm count and motility with profound effects on fertility” without affecting the critters’ sex drive. And when the mice stopped taking JQ1, their little swimmers came back in full force.

It’s not the first male contraceptive drug, but others have involved manipulating testosterone through the use of injections or implants. “These approaches work reasonably well, but none have yet made it to routine use,” said Dr. Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield. “So the door is wide open for someone to develop a novel drug that doesn’t rely on hormones.”

Everything’s still in the testing stages — which means your relationship with condoms is still likely a long-term one — but since sperm production in mice and humans is pretty similar, doctors feel JQ1 has real promise and could very well lead to a male birth control pill someday.

Whether or not a woman actually trusts you to take it, on the other hand, is a whole other story.

NEXT: Being Surrounded By Women Could Save You Money

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