Male birth control in the works, but more research is required

By: Mohan Garikiparithi | Health News | Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 10:00 AM

Male birth control in the works, but more research is requiredA potential injection administered to men that would act as birth control is currently in the works, but more research is required to determine its effectiveness. Currently, the only form of birth control available to men is the use of condoms.

Researchers are struggling to improve the effectiveness of this injectable birth control and reduce the side effects.

From the trial, only four pregnancies occurred among the 266 men who received the shot, which is comparable to other contraceptive methods. But some of the men reported side effects including mood swings and depression that occurred so frequently that the trial had to be stopped.

Although further research in this area is being halted, lead researcher Dr. Mario Festin explained that the shot works by suppressing sperm in order to prevent conception.

Dr. Festin explained, “A male hormonal contraceptive is possible. We have to continue searching for or investigating the right drugs, and their combinations, with the highest efficacy and safety, and acceptability, with the least side effects.”

“The safety committee felt that the number of side effects, particularly the mood changes, were too many. [The committee also felt] at that point, the study had already proven that the drug combination could already produce the desired effect of lower sperm counts, and the unfavorable side effects may outweigh any further findings,” added Dr. Festin, explaining why the trial was stopped.

Despite the side effects, 75 percent of the men showed interest in using this type of method for birth control. The reason for developing a male contraceptive is that it allows men to take contraception into their own hands, and researchers believe that men, like women, need options.

As of now, it is not looking as if a male birth control will hit the market anytime soon, but it is still something that researchers are working towards.


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Sources:

http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/jc.2016-2141

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