Molecular condoms might turn out to be the future of contraception

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published May 19, 2017, 6:25 pm IST
Updated May 19, 2017, 6:25 pm IST
The new technique can actually stop the sperm from drilling into the egg and stop fertilisation.
The next best thing after condoms (Photo: Pixabay)
 The next best thing after condoms (Photo: Pixabay)

Contraception matters a lot to young people with rising number of people having access to platforms for meeting new people and having multiple partners. Condoms are the most popular way to ensure safety during sex, as the rubber form developed from linen and animal bladder sheets being used in ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt.

But there’s a new form of birth control which may mean people can give condoms a miss. The new technique can actually turn off the entire process of conception by preventing the sperm from drilling into the egg.

The sperm has to travel around 12 cm to reach the fallopian tube through the uterus, and they generate motion for this by moving the tail sideways. But when it comes to penetrating through the egg’s outer layer, it needs a change in motion which comes from a kick.

This extra kick is the result of a calcium ion dump at the moment the sperm touches the egg. Researchers have figured out how to block the ion channel that is activated only when the sperm touches the egg’s surface and is crucial for the kick.

They have identified compounds coming from olives, grapes, mangoes and a medicinal herb called “Thunder God Vine”, as effective ways to disable the drill. While they have tested this with human sperm, researchers are conducting trials with primates to check for how long this kick can be switched off to prevent fertilisation.

This one seems to be a highly effective contraception for men, and also a more convenient option to condoms.


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