Don’t Want Kids? Do This!

Is a male version of "the pill" on its way?

mens-healthby mens-health

In a few years, you may be the one on “the pill.”

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have identified a gene responsible for an essentialphase of sperm development. The discovery is an early but very important step toward the creation of a male contraceptive similar to the daily pill you’re always worrying your wife or girlfriend forgot to take. (How does the pill affect her sex drive? Find out in 39 Things Women Wish You Knew.)

The gene, which scientists are calling “Katnal1,” is responsible for a late stage of sperm maturation. What does that mean? If the Katnal1 genetic pathway is disrupted, your gun is locked and loaded but you’ll shoot blanks.
As of today, the researchers have shown that injecting a virus designed to disrupt the Katnal1 pathway effectively renders mice infertile but not impotent, explains study author Lee Smith, Ph.D., a genetic endocrinologist at U. of Edinburgh. Human studies are next in line, he says. (Conduct your own human experiment tonight by trying one of these New Sex Positions!)

The ultimate goal is to develop a drug that will temporarily and reversibly disrupt Katnal1’s genetic pathway–a male birth control. However, Smith says that sort of contraceptive is likely 5 to 10 years away. The discovery may also prove helpful in identifying new therapies for men suffering from infertility related to the Katnal1 gene, he adds.

Until then, your best bet: Wrap it up. Here are our picks for the 4 Best-Feeling Condoms.