July 2nd, 2010 by Elizabeth Kissling
The Internet, especially the feminist blogosphere, is all abuzz this week with the promise of a new contraceptive pill for men within the next five years. But researchers always say a pill for men is just five years away, according to University of Washington medical professor John K. Amory.
The spark of new hope stems from an interview with Professor Haim Breitbart of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, published June 28 in London’s Telegraph. Breitbart promises a monthly pill, free of side effects, for men. The Telegraph says human trials are scheduled to begin next year.
How does this proposed pill work? The answer lies in a breakthrough paper Breitbart published four years ago, in which he and his colleagues announced a new discovery about how sperm cells create new proteins after ejaculation, while hanging around in the uterus before fertilization can take place. Breitbart believes that if this protein production process can be derailed, conception can be prevented without hormones. He calls his chemical concoction the Bright Pill (a twist on his name).
So far, the prototype works very well, inducing temporary sterility for one to three months at time, depending on dosage. In mice, that is. Breitbart believes there are no side effects, telling a reporter for an Israeli news service,
The mice behaved nicely. They ate and had sex; they were laughing, and everything, so all I can say is that we couldn’t see any behavioral side-effects–all their sex behavior was retained, which is a very important consideration for human men.