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Doctors are trying to make a contraceptive from natural ingredients
The contraceptive pill for women can protect those affected from unwanted pregnancy. However, there are some statements about adverse side effects on mental health. Researchers have now found that natural ingredients in olives and dandelions may also be able to prevent pregnancy.
The University of California at Berkeley researchers found that a natural contraceptive pill made from olives and dandelions can prevent pregnancy. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.
Natural form of contraceptive pill in sight?
If women use the pill for contraception, this creates certain health risks. For example, we know that taking it increases the risk of fatal blood clots, experts say. Nowadays, many women are afraid of hormonal changes caused by the pill, which can affect the body and mind. But researchers have now found a natural alternative.
Prevention of olives and dandelions?
We found some natural ingredients in olives that could potentially be used to prevent pregnancy, the scientists say. In addition, dandelions could be used to make sperm more difficult to get through a protective wall of cells around the egg, the scientists explain.
Natural chemicals can prevent pregnancy
For their investigation, the doctors looked at how sperm were affected by the naturally occurring chemicals. They found that the sperm were unable to break the barrier around an unfertilized egg. So fertilization could not be initiated. Usually the sperm penetrate to the egg cell by a whip-like movement. This is initiated by the hormone progesterone, which the cells release around the egg, the authors explain. Testosterone, estrogen and the stress hormone cortisol compete with progesterone. All of these hormones blocked the whip-like movement of the scourge. This prevents the sperm from penetrating the protective wall from cells.
What are the ingredients of Lupeol and Pristimerin?
Lupeol and Pristimerin also affect this movement of sperm. This can of course prevent an unfertilized egg and sperm from coming together. Lupeol and pristimerin are also found in aloe vera, grapes and mangoes, for example, the researchers say.
In what form could this non-hormonal contraceptive method be used?
The scientists suspect that this non-hormonal method of contraception could either be used as a permanent birth control in the form of a skin patch or as a vaginal ring. The experts would probably also think of using it as an emergency contraceptive.
Contraceptives could be used in both sexes
The researchers are likely to be able to use the new findings to produce a contraceptive that both sexes can take. This would be the first contraceptive for men that has a long-term effect. Some time ago there was a first male contraceptive pill, which was withdrawn from the market because it seemed to weaken the mental health of men. The new natural contraceptive is a better alternative to contraception, the scientists explain.
More research is needed
Because these two herbal compounds block fertilization at very low concentrations (about 10 times lower than the level of the levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive), they could be a new form of emergency contraceptive. Using a non-hormonal compound at a lower concentration to prevent fertilization may be a better option, the authors say. The scientists hope that such a newly developed pill will be available on the market in about three years. Of course, more research is needed. (as)