Just recently, there was a presentation on male birth control pills at the Endocrine Society conference in New Orleans. With that, a lot of people are asking.
Is it already out in the market?
Can women stop taking birth control pills from now on?
What are the symptoms?
Where can we get it?
These questions and more will be answered in this post.
More about the research
It was revealed in the presentation that a male birth control pill was taken by participants for a month and has passed the early safety tests. In the research, it was stated that the pill significantly reduced the hormones needed for sperm production.
There was a total of 40 male participants during the research. 10 of them took placebos and 30 of them took the drug known as 11-beta-MNTDC. Among the 30 participants who took the drug, only 22 reported side effects. These include headaches and a decreased urge to have sex. These are considered not serious according to the researchers. The result is truly a milestone as previous studies about male birth control pills needed to be stopped mainly for safety reasons.
The researchers are from Los Angeles Biomed Research Institute (LABioMed) and the University of Washington. The study is being led by Dr. Christina Wang.
Is it really effective?
However, we should not get too excited because the pill has a long way to go before it gets out in the market. Dr. Paul Turek, a male fertility specialist, questions the pill’s effectivity. He wonders if it can actually decrease sperm production or just the hormones associated with it. He thinks that in order for the pill to be effective, the sperm should drop to zero.
What could be the possible side effects?
While little is still known about the male birth control pill’s side effects, many assumed that it will be more or less the same with the female birth control pills. The most common ones are summarized below:
- weight gain
- decreased sexual drive
- changes in mood
- cardiovascular problems
- increased blood pressure
- cancer risk
However, please note that experts still believe that the benefits of female contraceptives today outweigh its side effects.
When is it going to be available?
It is believed that the male birth control pill will be ready in 10 years time. For some, this is a long time, but the pill is obviously in its early stage and further research will need to be done. The researchers are very optimistic though. For them, this is a step closer in having a safe and effective male contraceptive pill.
What are the available male contraceptives as of today?
To date, there are still a number of options for males if they want to prevent pregnancy. We have the following:
- Using condoms
- Vasectomy – If you plan to have a vasectomy, you have to make up your mind because this is considered permanent. And like all medical procedures, there are still risks. For vasectomy, it includes infection. Please also remember that this cannot prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
Some people use the withdrawal method but experts do not recommend this because sperm can be released during pre-ejaculation.