Male contraceptive pill gets huge funding boost from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded huge funding to researchers who are hoping to develop a male contraceptive pill.

For a number of years, the burden of preventing or getting rid of unwanted pregnancies has been put on those who carry a uterus. Females have been given an umpteenth amount of options that can stop them from conceiving a baby—from hormone-altering birth control pills and patches, to IUDs and contraceptive injections. Meanwhile, the only thing a man can do to prevent a pregnancy is to wear a condom.

Bridging the gap

To help bridge the gap between this stark inequality, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given a colossal funding boost to scientists who have been trying to develop a male contraceptive pill. Of the many institutions who have been working on this project, LadBible has reported that the researchers at the University of Dundee have been allocated $1.7 million to continue their work. Chris Barrat, Professor of Reproductive Medicine in Dundee University’s School of Medicine, said:

There has been no significant change in the field of male contraception since the development of the condom.
This means that much of the burden of protecting against unwanted pregnancies continue to fall upon women.
We hope to address that inequality and we have already made progress, thanks to our previous round of funding received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Making progress

The team of researchers are in the process of devising a testing system that uses a fast microscope and image-processing tools that will monitor the precise movement of sperm. Chris added that by the end of the two-year period, they hope to ‘identify a high-quality compound’ that they use in the first stages of drug development. Chris continued:

That would be a significant step forward for the field and could potentially be the key that unlocks a new era in male contraception.
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