TEL AVIV – Israeli researchers have published a new study featuring a drug that acts as a contraceptive without any of the side effects caused by hormones, Ynet news reported.
A team from Sheba Medical Center’s Fertility Laboratory initially set out to find ways to improve in vitro fertilization, or IVF. However, in the course of their research, they identified several different genes, including one that changes during ovulation, creating a pathway for prostaglandins.
The drug, which was free of hormones, blocked the prostaglandins pathway in lab mice, meaning that the mice did not experience ovulation.
The next stage of research led by Professor Ariel Horowitz will attempt to develop a birth control pill containing the drug to be performed on human subjects.
Existing birth control pills include hormonal material such as estrogen and progesterone, which can cause blood clotting. This can lead to brain thromboses, pulmonary embolisms, and, in extreme cases, even death.
“Some women cannot use hormonal contraceptives, such as women with a tendency for clotting, smokers, or cancer patients. Another type of contraception could provide a solution for these women,” Horowitz told Ynet.
The researchers added that their research will also help improve the treatment of women undergoing IVF.