Will something like this ever happen? Researchers are honing in on the development of what may be the first oral contraceptive for men. Since it turns out the women actually want sex more than men do, this is a good thing to know.
Researchers found that low doses of a drug stopped sperm production in mice with no apparent side effects. And crucial for a contraceptive, normal fertility was restored soon after drug administration was terminated.
But is it safe for humans? Bristol-Myers dropped its interest when it found that the compound also was--in the company’s words--"a testicular toxin." But researcher Debra J. Wolgemuth says, "One company’s toxin may be another person's contraceptive."
Despite recent reports that sperm counts are declining worldwide, perhaps due to environmental effects, a study utilizing 15 years of data from 18-year-old Danish men taking their military physicals shows no decline in sperm counts after all. In the June 7th edition of the New York Times, Gina Kolata quotes fertility expert Dolores Lamb as saying that earlier studies were "problematic and raised alarms in society without critical thinking about the caveats and weaknesses inherent in the data and its analysis." Despite this, these studies very influential--one study was cited by 1,000 scientific papers.
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