A new contraceptive is coming, but this time, it’s for men. The new male birth control has been developed in injection form. One clinical trial shows that men decreased their sperm count when injected with hormones resulting in the prevention of pregnancy.
In the clinical trial1, researchers recruited 320 healthy men with ages ranging from 18 to 45 who are in monogamous relationships. For every 8 weeks, these men received injections of progestogen and testosterone undecanoate. These hormones suppressed sperm counts for a period of 26 weeks.
How Effective Is It?
Researchers find that this male birth control or contraceptive injection is 96% effective when it comes to preventing pregnancies. It worked better than all using a condom and withdrawals. On the other hand, it was not as 100% effective as vasectomy.
Over 75% of men who participated in the clinical trial showed their interest and willingness to use this method of birth control. However, the effectiveness comes with a price. Men who participated in this clinical trial reported side effects including;
- Mood disorders
- Pain on the injection area
- Muscle pain
On the other hand, one thing men noticed was the contraceptive injection increased their libido. Out of 320 men participated, 20 of them dropped due to the side effects they experienced.
The depression and mood disorder side effects may be due to the hormones injected. As a matter of fact, birth control pills for women are linked to depression, which also used hormones.
These injected hormones interact with the body’s hormonal system causing unwanted effects.
The clinical trial concluded;
The study regimen led to near complete and reversible suppression of spermatogenesis. The contraceptive efficacy was relatively good compared with other reversible methods available for men. The frequencies of mild to moderate mood disorders were relatively high.
This is not the first contraception developed for men. Just recently, prior to this clinical trial, male birth control pill was announced a few months back.
There was also another method that does not involve hormones. The method has been developed for over the last 30 years. It is known as RISUG(reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance)2.
In the future, we can expect more development on these male contraceptives. However, when it comes to methods that involved hormones, it looks like it would always cause side effects particularly depression.
On the other hand, other methods like RISUG and vasectomy do not involve hormones. Therefore, these two may be your choices. However, vasectomy knows that it involved a surgical procedure, and RISUG also involved a semi-invasive procedure, as well.
Isn’t It Contradictory?
While it is true that many men are struggling with their sperm count, there are those who are seeking birth control. Initially, the effort was focused on women, but unfortunately, it seems that tackling women side alone does cover complete prevention of unwanted pregnancies.
It is also true that many men today are suffering from infertility. In fact, many men are trying to boost fertility in an effort to increase sperm count.
Some Thoughts for Potential Solution
With all the methods developed to prevent pregnancies, we can’t also deny there is an increasing number of male infertility. There seems to be conflict, right?
Well, I think there is. Here is a thought to ponder, although, this may be outrageous to some people, it works for some people including myself. When it comes to preventing pregnancies, not one partner can blame on it.
A couple should talk and discuss the matters of sex and pregnancy. When there is open communication, both partners can agree on the method they are going to use. They can either opt using contraception or natural options.
When it comes to natural options, it really on the men’s side. Men should learn how to track their female partner’s ovulation period.
Or, use the withdrawal method. However, the problem with the withdrawal method is that there are men who don’t have full control of their ejaculation, and I was once among these men.
It is not a quick fix, but if one is disciplined enough to follow through it, it has long-term benefits without the side effects.