Male Birth Control Could Be Hitting the Shelves Soon
Let’s be honest, when it comes to medical contraception, the responsibility has mainly fallen on women. Besides vasectomies, condoms and the pullout method (please don’t do this), men don’t have many options. Condoms aren’t 100% effective, vasectomies are often permanent and pulling out is just a no. Well, it looks like there might be another option available soon; male birth control pills, injections and gels. Currently all of these methods are undergoing testing and research, but researchers say that they could soon be making their debut.
How it works
A new study has shown promise as it has combated most of the issues that previous studies have had. Previous male birth control studies have caused major side-effects like liver and kidney damages, or caused issues like weight gain, acne and mood swings. This new test trial, dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU), works the same way female contraception does by manipulating reproductive hormones. The dimethandrolone hormone tricks the body into believing that testosterone levels are adequate, preventing the body from producing sperm. The good news is that once you stop taking the pill, the body goes back to reproducing sperm as normal.
The good, the bad and the horny
The study consisted of 100 men between the ages of 18-50, 83 of whom completed the study. The men were given three different doses of the pill, and on all doses, testosterone dropped to castrate levels. Usually having low or high testosterone levels can result in health complications but this pill has shown to have minimal side effects. Also, given that the pill includes a long-chain fatty acid that slows down absorption, you are only required to take one pill a day with food.
On the safety front, all participants showed no liver or kidney damage, a common side effect of decreased or increased levels of testosterone. Another upside is that none of the participants of the study experienced a loss of sex drive or any of the other symptoms associated with testosterone deficiency. The only down side so far has been that all participates experienced some weight gain and a drop of good cholesterol in their blood.
Like the female pill, it does not protect against STDs but will prevent unplanned pregnancies. Until then, be sure sure to wrap it up to protect yourself and your partner.