“Prospective birth control pill for men has its origin in an arrow poison”
Society, American Chemical. “Prospective Birth Control Pill for Men Has Its Origin in an Arrow Poison.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180117164007.htm.
This article is about a new pill which has not been released but is a possible future contraceptive for men. This option comes from ouabain. This is a drug that comes from two African plants “ that are thought to help control blood pressure; doctors sometimes prescribe small doses of the compound to treat heart attack patients.” In addition, “Ouabain disrupts the passage of sodium and calcium ions through the membrane protein Na,K-ATPases, which are are found in cell membranes and are made up of protein subunits.” Ouabain has proven to stop sperm by binding to Na,K-ATPase subunits. Unfortunately this causes a high risk of heart damage. The ouabain causes stops the sperm “cells' ability to swim, which is essential to its role in fertilizing an egg, the scientists showed. The compound had no toxicity in rats. The researchers say that the contraceptive effect should be reversible because ?4 is only found on mature sperm cells.” This means that once this drug is no longer taken, sperm production will go back to normal.
This article is very relevant to society for many reasons. First of all, currently the only birth control drugs are for females. Having a birth control option for men would allow men to make the same choices women have while considering a child.In addition, this would not put all of the pressure on women to take birth control if men had a safe option to do so as well.
This article had strengths and weaknesses. A strength of the article was citing that the drug was not safe but possibly will be in the future. This was important to tell people if they were wondering when the drug would be available. However, some of the article lacked information about how this drug would work in some places filling some spots of the article with only “?4.” I suggest to improve, the author should do more research on this topic and edit the current article once there is more information discovered.