Male contraceptive pill in the making!

New research by fertility experts could help hundreds of men to achieve their dream of becoming father. This also raises hopes of producing male contraceptive pill. The dug could help many couples. New research centers around a protein called PLC zeta which passed from the sperm to the egg on fertilization, triggering the creation of new life.

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Some men are infertile because their sperm fails to awaken the egg. The research could one day be used to create a male contraceptive. In study they use samples of nine men undergoing a common IVF procedure called ICSI in which sperm is injected into the egg. In each case, the sperm failed to awaken the egg & treatment was unsuccessful.

Tests showed problems in the with PLC zeta protein produced by the men. One made a defective form, others die not making enough or it was stored in the wrong part of the sperm. Further experiments showed that it is possible to activate eggs by injecting them with the gene that makes the protein, raising hopes of a new fertility drug.

Infertility affects one in six couples at some point in their lives & 30% to 50% of the problems are with male partner. Problems with the PLC protein will only account for a small proportion of these but could still add up to hundreds of cases every year. Some men are infertile because their sperm fail to activate eggs.

Dr Parrington said, “This was a lab experiment & our method could not be used in a fertility clinic in exactly the same way. But in the future, if we could produce the PLC protein artificially, we could stimulate egg activation in a completely natural way.” He further told that for those couples going through IVF treatment where ICSI has failed, it could give them chance of a baby.

In fertile men, a drug that blocks the protein could be used as a contraceptive.

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