For 65 years, birth control pills have been exclusively for women. But men may be a step closer to getting in on the action, researchers report October 1 in Science.
A newly identified sperm protein, called PPP3CC/PPP3R2, could give scientists a promising target for developing male contraceptives. The protein resides in sperm tails and helps sperm push through the tough outer membrane of an egg.
Blocking the protein with drugs for two weeks made mice infertile, though they were still able to have sex. And just a week after stopping the drug treatment, fertility recovered. Blocking the sperm protein in humans could lead to reversible and fast-acting birth control options for men, the researchers write.