A pioneering study into a new form of male contraception has come to a premature end.
According to the NHS website there are a number of effective contraceptive methods: caps, the pill, condoms, implants, injections, the patch, diaphragms, the intrauterine device, the intrauterine system, and vaginal rings. Yes, you read that correctly: out of all of the contraceptives available, it is largely a woman’s job to make sure pregnancy doesn’t happen.
However, a new form of contraceptive has been created that involves injecting a male with progesterone to lower sperm count. In a trial of 320 men, it has been found to be 96% effective. That’s more effective than female condoms (95%) and the diaphragm and the cap (both 92-96%). However, the study, recently published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, has been cut short. With such a high effectiveness, why has it been stopped?
Have a look at this list of side effects:
- Mood alteration
- Decreased sex drive
- Increased body weight
These are the common side effects of taking the pill. Out of them, mood alteration, changes in sex drive, depression, and acne were all seen in the male contraceptive trial. These are the side effects that 20 men couldn’t handle and 64% of woman aged 20-24 have been putting up with since the pill was first developed in 1962. It is also worth noting that eight out of the 320 men in the study experienced infertility for a prolonged period after taking the injections: however, seven have since recovered.
Of course, there have been quite a few comments made already about the study’s premature ending. If 1 in 10 women have to deal with mostly the same common side effects, then why do 20 out of 320 (1 in 16) men get to decide that it’s too much? Why aren’t we hearing about the pill being taken off the shelves due to health risks?
My view is that the study on the male contraception injection should continue, and that the injection should be made available as soon as possible. It makes more sense to unload the gun than to fire at a bulletproof vest.
Do you think the halting of the study reflects a double standard for men and women? Let us know your opinion in the comments.
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