Researchers say they have developed a new birth control

Birth Control Pills, Photo Date: 4/12/2006 / Photo: outcast104 / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)

(NBC) Researchers at UC Berkeley believe they've developed something that could revolutionize birth control.

They're creating a product that does not use hormones and could be used by women and men.

At the "Your Choice Therapeutics" lab at UC Berkeley, scientist Nadja Mannowetz says it all comes down to what their compound does to active sperm cells.

Mannowetz says, "drugging sperm cells with our small molecule results in sperm cells that are really deprived in energy. So they cannot swim from point a to b."

If sperm cells can't reach a woman's egg, they can't fertilize it.
The plan is to create a pill that men can take and it will be a game changer.

Since this drug does not use hormones, researchers say the side affects are minimal.

They're repurposing a drug that's already in wide use around the world - to treat tape worms.

Akash Bakashi is another researcher in the lab. She says, "it prevents tape worms from being able to reproduce. So, it zaps them of their energy to reproduce. And we're doing exactly the same thing, just with human sperm. "

But, before they make a pill they plan on creating a hormone-free product that woman can buy over the counter.

Their hope - is to have a spermicidal gel available for sale by 2025.