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  1. chillinwill
    The male birth control pill has lingered for years tantalizingly just out of reach, in the realm where rumor meets science. Recently developed hormonal and mechanical contraceptives never found an audience, serving only to highlight the absence of a male pill. Now, an examination of how smoking pot lowers fertility may make the male pill more than a persistent rumor.

    Writing in last week's issue of the journal Cell, University of California, San Francisco, researcher Yuriy Kirichok revealed a new link between bong hits, a protein called Hv1, and the ability of sperm to swim. Hv1 activates in alkaline environments, like the vagina. Kirichok's study showed that endocannabinoid anandamide, a chemical found in the kind bud, raises the testes' pH. In that raised-pH environment, sperm start swimming too early, and get too tired to reach the egg once they actually exit the body.

    A pill that contains anandamide, or in some other fashion alters the pH in testicles, could make anyone's sperm as lazy and apathetic as the spliff-ripping burnouts gaining that sterility the hard way.

    However, before every tosses out their condoms in favor of some chronic, it should be noted that an Hv1 pill can't hit the market until some scientists explore some potential side effects. Specifically, Hv1 protein acts across the body in a range of different ways, not just in sperm. By changing the pH environment for Hv1 protein in general, bodily functions may alter in unforeseen ways. So while this is definitely a positive step towards creating the long-desired male birth control pill, it may not be available in stores until after Gilliam finally finishes his Don Quixote movie.

    Stuart Fox
    February 9, 2010
    Popular Science


  1. [tanarilla.]
    To be fare, female birth control pills can have some pretty nasty side effects, it just doesn't get much publicity. But interesting, dying to see how popular it will be.
  2. bubbly nubs
    Somehow SWIM cant see this catching on...
  3. Motorhead
    Really? It might not break pharmaceutical sales records, but I think it would be somewhat successful at the very least. The masses of single guys deathly afraid of fathering a child and those men given an ultimatum by their spouses-"its your turn to pop these for a while"-would garner some response in the marketplace I would think.
  4. bubbly nubs
    Hmmm yeah I can defiantly see your point, but SWIM says he really doesn't like the idea of a drug messing with his balls. He would rather use a condom, and he also doesn't agree fully with the female pill, but it is nice to uhhhmmm, not have to use a condom:laugh:.
  5. NeuroChi
    Hm, I was under the impression the "marijuana makes you fertile" issue was mostly bogus.

    I guess it's only half bogus? Seems as though it reduces the sperm's ability to swim but doesn't stop it altogether, according to Mr. Kirichok.
  6. xenos
    @Richi: yeah its been known for awhile that it reduces sperm count, now as to if they were sourcing research done on
    THC only or with actual buds, I'm not sure. This is a huge issue in cannabis research IMO. Research done on mj is not identical to research done on THC, but many don't think about that.

    @Porchy: It's the typical male entitlement issues or special interest groups/politicians that pose the biggest threat against this. I'm glad you don't pick sides and feel the same way about birth control for males AND females. Unfortunately, many men don't hold fair views on this, since males in western society (and all around the world probably, but I dont want to speak for areas I dont live in) have huge entitlement issues often. (this is coming from a male btw) It is the way we are programmed by society.
  7. NeuroChi
    According to that article it does not reduce sperm count, it causes the sperm that are produced to start swimming too early and run out of finite source of energy before making it to the egg. There is a big difference.
  8. Greenport
    Soo are these effects temporary or permanent then? Aka is smoking weed heavily, or taking one of these pills, going to permanently reduce one's chances of having a kid? Or does the fertility return after use has stopped?
  9. NeuroChi
    ^ If THC (or other cannabinoid) is responsible for this effect, it would only last as long as it is in the body. It wouldn't permanently reduce the sperms ability to swim because new sperm are produced regularly, but I'm sure you knew that. :p
  10. bcubed
    I can't see this becoming very popular, because I can't see many women trusting men in this regard. I mean, with a condom, it's obvoius if it's being used, but how many women would trust a man who says, "Don't worry baby, I'm on the pill?"
  11. Motorhead
    Well on the singles scene condoms are a mandatory precaution for anyone with half a brain, for the std aspect alone.

    The kicker will be the side affects and for those in relationships who actually do 'family planning'. Birth control pills for women have improved over the last couple of decades, but they still carry health risks and side-effects. For one thing there is more variety now so a woman can find the one with the least side effects for themselves.

    However the pill for women becomes more riskier with age and I have personally known several women who can't take the pill after a pregnancy. For some reason the side-effects magnify. Again, they can usually shop around now and find one that better suits them. And tubal ligation is much more serious surgery than a vasectomy.

    If they can develop a male birth control pill with minimal or no side effects then I think it would be successful.
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