Is the Male Birth Control Shot on Its Way?
The day has finally dawned! After more than 40 years of research, male birth control is on its way! We’re just 20 short years away from men taking on some sexual responsibility. So, just in time for many of us ladies to hit menopause. Blessed!
Instead of the male birth control pills we envisioned, the hormones will be delivered by shot. A study was conducted on 207 men, who were given two shots of progesterone and testosterone.
Their sperm counts were closely monitored throughout. Results, published by the Endocrine Society in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, show these injections are 96% effective at preventing pregnancy. That’s almost as effective as female birth control!
Effective, sure, but do we trust BAE to take it?
Allan Pacey, professor of andrology at the University of Sheffield said that the study showed the shots were “extremely effective” at preventing unwanted pregnancy. I still have questions.
My biggest issue with male birth control is trusting a guy to use it. I like having control over my body in a way that makes me feel safe.
But, I get the appeal. Men taking on some of the responsibility and hormones that have historically been the sole responsibility of women is pretty rad. A lot of oral and injected birth controls have been shown to cause nasty side effects on women, including lower sex drive, vaginal dryness, and weight gain. So sharing the burden would certainly be welcomed!
But it's not a perfect solution, either
There were a few drawbacks found in the study.
Of the 207 men given birth-control injections, eight had sperm counts that failed to return to normal after the study was complete. And a rather large percentage saw noticeable side effects -- mostly notably, mood disorders. The study stopped taking on new participants in 2011 and researchers are looking for new methods of delivery, such as gels, which will hopefully alleviate the side effects seen with the injections.
So, while there certainly is hope for a new dawn for contraceptives... we still have work to do.
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