Mexicans create male contraceptiveBy Valeria Bigurra Peñavera
The project is based on the use of viper venom
We live in a time when sex is no longer a taboo as it was a few years ago, people already exercise their sexuality more freely, and that is why many companies know that contraception is a very profitable business.
However, many of them have repercussions on the health of those who consume them, and not all of them are economically accessible for all types of people, and even though there is a wide variety of contraceptives very few can be used by men.
Consequently, the responsibility to take care usually falls on women, which is why Arturo Picones Medina, director of the National Laboratory of Channelopathies of the Institute of Physiology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is working on a male contraceptive.
This is not the first attempt to create a contraceptive for men, however this new product is based on research done with scorpions, spiders and vipers, which disclosed that the venom of the vipers can function as a specific inhibitor of sperm.
For the investigation, 950 toxins were isolated, of which 350 have already been tested in automated high-tech equipment, and three of them, two of coralillo venom and one of cobra, were identified as isolates of spermatozoa.
In Mexico there are various venomous animals, from which many toxins can be extracted that once isolated can be tested to look for utilities in diverse areas.
The research aims to create a substance that can be injected, and prevents the mobility of sperm without affecting other cells or the body that houses them.
This would be a reversible method, so that like other contraceptives, at the moment of stopping its use, the person is fully capable of having children.
The project is still in preclinical testing, but it is expected that clinical trials will soon begin in humans.
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