Can it really be that simple?
First of all, there are two important factors that, according to Plas, you have to pay attention to in the future. For one thing, studies have shown that it can take up to nine months for semen production to return to normal after stopping hormone treatment. Ultimately, the protein receptor also indirectly influences the hormone balance via the steroid hormone receptor. A semen cycle lasts about 76 days, so it could take a few months for the male to be fertile again, even with the retinoic acid receptor alpha.
On the other hand, what is much more important are long-term studies on how the pill for men affects possible later conceived boys. “In the mouse you can see the sperm genesis very quickly, in newborns you get the first indications of mini-puberty, which infants go through. Exact results are not available until puberty at the earliest, i.e. after about 13 years, explains Plas. He thinks it’s unlikely that it will be approved in five years’ time, unless the researchers have great certainty about the new male pill.
The study authors point out that the predictions from animal studies sometimes do not apply to humans. Therefore, they are currently investigating other agents besides YCT529 to suppress sperm production. Hopes are high that their efforts will finally bring the elusive male oral contraceptive to fruition.
In the end, the only question that remains is whether women in a casual relationship trust when the man says: “Don’t worry, I’ll take the pill anyway.”