It’s undeniable that females carry the bulk of the birth control burden in this world. While dudes can wear condoms or get vasectomies, the majority of chemical and hormonal methods fall on women to do. That could change with the discovery of potential applications for a chemical compound called triptonide, the subject of a recent study by scientists at the Lundquist Institute.
Triptonide is a chemical that can be extracted from a Chinese herb with the scientific name Tripterygium Wilfordii Hook F, or produced in a lab through synthesis. When administered to men, it resulted in a massive decrease in sperm motility, causing male infertility in 5-6 weeks. Even more interesting, when the subjects stopped taking the medication they regained sperm motility in 3-4 weeks with no observable ill effects. Reversible, effective male birth control has been a huge goal, and this is one of the most interesting routes.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the plant (known as lei gong teng or Thunder God Vine) has been a touchstone of many treatments. It is used to treat arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, lupus, psoriasis, fever and many other symptoms. Like many herbal medicines, science is working to break down the myriad chemical compounds in the plant to discover how they work.
Read more at Science Daily.Get your balls in the game! Donate to the Sean Kimerling Foundation to win the battle against testicular cancer.