Berkeley researchers developing first unisex, hormone-free birth control

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A Bay Area startup is developing what they say is the first hormone-free birth control for both men and women. 

YourChoice Therapeutics, a startup by UC Berkeley researchers, says the new product will be released in 2025, The Daily Californian reports. 

The publication says researchers had originally intended for the product to eliminate the negative side effects of birth control for women, but later discovered it could also be used “to inhibit the action of male sperm” and work in both men and women. 

Researchers told Daily Cal that the product would also eliminate risks associated with male birth control products currently being studied, such as reduced sex drive and erectile dysfunction. 

Researchers say the product would work in two ways — the first would target the sperm’s ability to swim to the egg, and in the second case that some sperm still reaches the egg, the drug would also prevent the sperm from “drilling,” thus disabling fertilization. 

The unisex contraceptives were founded after a decade of research conducted in UC Berkeley’s Lishko Lab. 

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