New Delhi: While there are several options in contraceptives to choose from for female, unfortunately, their male counterparts have very limited options. Except for condom or the vasectomy, there are no options available as far as male contraceptives are concerned.
A male contraceptive injection had hit the market but its side-effects did not make it an acceptable option. Men complained of acne, depression and mood swings.
But there is a ray of hope. Researchers from the University of California — Berkeley, have discovered that two chemicals found in folk medicine can help block the fertilisation of an egg and could make effective alternatives to hormone-based contraceptives, they say in findings published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
CatSper is vital for male fertility is activated by progesterone hormone. Compounds can block the progesterone activating CatSper and they looked into natural steroid-like molecules including pristimerine. This comes from a plant and lupeol- acompound which can be found in plants and mangoes. They found both compounds affected sperm fertility concluding that “pristimerin and lupeol can act as contraceptive compounds by averting sperm hyperactivation”.
“Because these two plant compounds block fertilisation at very low concentrations, they could be a generation of emergency contraceptives nicknamed ‘molecular condoms,’” assistant professor of molecular and cell biology Polina Lishko said