Scientists have created a new male contraceptive that makes men infertile for days
Scientists have made a major breakthrough in male contraception after developing a compound that could switch off sperm's ability to swim.
According to the Mail on Sunday, the contraception works via cell-penetrating peptide compound entering into sperm and then stopping them from swimming. With the sperm unable to swim, they are left unable to fertilise eggs, rendering the man infertile.
The fast-acting contraceptive could be taken just minutes before sex, and supposedly lasts for a few days.
The creation comes as part of a joint project between researchers at Wolverhampton University and Portuguese scientists.
"The results are startling – and almost instant. When you take healthy sperm and add our compound, within a few minutes the sperm basically cannot move," said Professor John Howl, who is heading up the project.
As the Daily Mail reports, the development was praised by a number of family planning experts. John Guillebaud, emeritus professor of family planning and reproductive health at University College London, told the newspaper that a reversible male contraceptive would be 'of enormous benefit to many couples, such as those where the woman cannot take the Pill for medical reasons – for instance due to migraine with aura or an increased risk of blood clots.'
If tests are successful, the contraception could be available from 2021. Prof Howl said it was 'too early to say' if the end result would be a pill, a nasal spray or a sub-skin implant, but they were all possibilities.