Could These ‘Beads’ Be The Next Big Thing In Contraception?
Scientists are reportedly in the process of developing ‘beads’ which could serve as a contraceptive in the future.
According to The Huffington Post, the tiny balls (which are officially known as ZP2 peptide beads) are made from a substance extracted from seaweed.
They are like decoy eggs in that they are coated in a protein traditionally found on the outside of a woman’s eggs. This tricks the sperm into latching onto them thus preventing pregnancy.
Researchers have trialled the beads on mice (which have a similar physiology to humans). They injected them into the uteruses of females and despite regular mating with male mice, none became pregnant.
As well as serving as a non-hormonal contraception, without the side effects associated with the various types of pills, it is hoped that the beads can also be used to identify the strongest sperm to use in IVF treatment.
The findings, which were published in the American Association for the Advancement of Science journal, note that further progress is needed before human testing.