Findings from a new study have demonstrated that the experimental male oral contraceptive, dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU), could be effectively used as a birth control pill for men.
The study was conducted at the University of Washington Medical Center and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. It showed that DMAU is safe when used every day for a month, with hormone responses consistent with effective contraception.
The trial included 100 healthy men, aged 18 to 50 years, of whom 83 completed the study.
University of Washington medicine professor and the study’s senior investigator Stephanie Page said: “DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily ‘male pill’.
“Many men say they would prefer a daily pill as a reversible contraceptive, rather than long-acting injections or topical gels, which are also in development.”
Three different doses of DMAU were tested; 100mg, 200mg, and 400mg. Additional formulations such as castor oil and powder were also examined.
Each dose group comprised five subjects who were randomly assigned an inactive placebo, while the remaining 12 to 15 men received DMAU. All enrolled subjects took their treatment course with food every day for 28 days.
On the first and last days of the study, the subjects gave blood samples for hormone and cholesterol testing.
At the highest dose of DMAU tested, subjects demonstrated ‘marked suppression’ of levels of their testosterone and two hormones required for sperm production.
The low doses of the drug tested have reportedly showed consistency with effective male contraception as found in longer-term studies.