Pay attention gentlemen: The University of Minnesota may have a new lead on the concept of male birth control.
Researchers at UMN adapted a molecule from an African plant that was once used to poison warrior’s arrows to stop sperm flow. The contraceptive, while reducing sperm count, does not reduce testosterone levels. It is a start to what should be done, but it does not completely reduce the chance of pregnancy.
The contraceptives could come in wide ranges, according to Vox.
According to an interview with KARE11, Dr. Gunda Georg, the lead researcher and head of the medicinal chemistry department at UMN said, “Basically, when we gave this compound to rats and then looked at their sperm, we found that the sperm motility was greatly reduced.”
For years people have questioned why women have to take the extra step to avoid pregnancy. A big question posted around VSU’s campus is why condoms can’t just be used.
Jordan Cherry, an undecided freshman, agreed.
“I feel like they can just wear a condom,” Cherry said.
The benefits of the birth control are undoubtedly effective, but it still does not prevent STDs.
Frank Lucas, a junior biology major, thinks there should be more research done.
“I think it could be effective if they do more research and find they can put it on the market,” Lucas said. “I think people would be interested in using it, though.”
I agree with Lucas. There should be more research done to make sure there is no other complications with the contraceptive. Dr. Georg is planning more research to make sure the contraceptive is 100 percent safe and 99 percent effective.
“We want to have them go down in infertility and maintain this for a while, and then we want to see that fertility come back,” Dr. Georg said in reference to the use of rats as research.
According to The Shriver Report, fifty percent of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Dr. Georg and his team are excited to work on a new way to prevent these. I think this is a good start to what should be done.
In the meantime, men can still wear condoms which are effective in more ways than one.
Story by Kaitlyn Baich, Staff Writer.
For more opinion stories, look here.