Gene Discovery May Lead to New Contraceptive for Men

Leslie Carol Botha: Sure, women have been ingesting, being injected with and subjected to a continuous release of synthetic hormones for years – increasing our risk of getting cancer in the name of controlling fertility.

And the first potential birth control device for men is non-hormonal? Holy Hormones Honey!

Discovery of Gene May Lead to New Male Contraceptive

Findings from mouse study could also result in new treatments for infertility

HealthDay News
May 24, 2012

The discovery of a key gene involved in sperm development could eventually lead to the creation of a new type of non-hormonal birth control for men, a study involving mice suggests.

Researchers found that a gene called Katnal1 is critical to enable sperm to mature in the testes. Finding a way to regulate this gene could prevent sperm from maturing, making them incapable of fertilizing eggs.

This finding also could lead to new treatments for cases of male infertility in which the Katnal1 gene malfunctions and hampers sperm development, according to the study, from researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

The researchers found that male mice modified to lack the Katnal1 gene were infertile. Further investigation revealed that the gene was essential for sperm development and maturation.

Successful trials in mice do not necessarily mean the success will translate to humans, however.

The study was published in the journal PLoS Genetics.

“If we can find a way to target this gene in the testes, we could potentially develop a non-hormonal contraceptive,” study author Lee Smith, of the University of Edinburgh’s Center for Reproductive Health, said in a journal news release.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.