Extract Cotton Root seed Gossypol Acetate
Gossypol. Gossypol is a chemical extracted from cotton roots. It has been used in China as a male contraceptive, and cotton root was used as folk medicine in the American South to treat menstrual pain and to induce abortions. The chemical destroys the lining of tubules in the testicles where sperm are produced, thereby inhibiting their formation. A 2000 Brazilian study reported that a male oral contraceptive derived from gossypol suppressed sperm production within up to 16 weeks. In men who were taking lower doses, sperm production returned in most of them within a year after they stopped taking the contraceptive. In the high dose group, sperm count reversed in less than half. Gossypol did not appear to reduce sexual desire or frequency of intercourse. It also may not be very effective, since even if small numbers of sperm survive, they may get through to penetrate the egg.
Researchers are investigating gossypol-derived compounds that may have less toxicity. (No one should take any so-called natural gossypol product without consultation with a physician.