We now know how one new form of male birth control actually works, and it’s blowing our minds

Since the invention of birth control, the burden of family planning has fallen almost entirely on women – but that could finally be about to change. A new scientific discovery shows the world is closer than ever to stocking a male birth control pill on shelves. The best part? Scientists believe the male birth control pill will be safer and have fewer side effects than any pills made for women. Score!

Like most great discoveries, this one was the result of teamwork. According to the Telegraph, Scientists in the United Kingdom created a peptide with the ability to penetrate sperm cells. Portuguese scientists created a peptide that stops a sperm cell’s ability to swim.

When combined, the two peptides immediately prevented sperm from fertilizing eggs.

“The results are startling – and almost instant. When you take healthy sperm and add our compound, within a few minutes the sperm basically cannot move, said Lead researcher Professor John Howl.

This means a fast-acting pill – one a man could take within minutes or hours of sex – could soon be possible. The effect would be quickly reversible, unlike female birth control, which can affect a woman’s fertility for weeks or months. Even better, Howl says the birth control isn’t hormonal, meaning women would no longer need to subject themselves to dangerous hormones and their side-effects. Yes, please!

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