Men May Soon Be Taking Birth Control Pills Too

29 Jul

By JasmineHughes

To date, “the pill” has represented a sort of victory for women’s rights, but the realities of taking a daily medication that is sometimes accompanied by an expense and unpleasant side effects may make it more of a burden for women than a reproductive equalizer. And so comes male birth control, which, researchers say, might finally help men and women to take on life’s responsibilities together in about 10 years.

As it turns out, when it comes to producing a hormonally-based contraceptive medication, female hormones may be critical in interfering with sperm’s ability to start a pregnancy. In an article in the New York Times, reporter Pam Belluck states that a cocktail of the female hormone progestin and the male hormone testosterone may be among the first methods approved. The progestin tricks the brain into signaling the testes to stop producing testosterone, which in turn stops the production of sperm. Testosterone is added in the pill to avoid diminished libido and muscle loss, which can result when the hormone’s levels drop too low. So far, in early tests, the agent worked on 95% of the men who tried it, but there are lingering questions about the long-term effects of suppressing testosterone in men.

It’s still an open question how willing men will be to shouldering more of the burden of contraception. Not surprisingly, the reaction among men is split; some are worried about long-term effects and “shrinkage,” while others are open to the possibility.

What makes this drug so innovative is that it promises to be more long-term than a condom and require less commitment than a vasectomy. An advertisement that has drawn in hundreds of men like Larry Setlow, a 39-year-old computer programmer who took part in 3 contraceptive clinical trials. Setlow reported he didn’t have any real noticeable side effects other than a little weight gain and says, “they all worked really well and I was able to look at my lab results and see my sperm count drop to zero.”

The possibility of taking back control is also alluring some men to this new option. Quintin brown, a 45-year-old man out of Los Angeles, is married and has three children.  Quintin hopes his kids will one day be able to benefit from the new technology. Brown believes many men will see “their pill” as a good idea and will want to use it.

“It is time for men to have some control. I think it would empower men and deter some women out there from their nefarious plans,” says Brown. “Some women are out there to use men to get pregnant. This could deter women from doing this. An athlete or a singer is someone who could be a target and they could put a stop to that.”

But it’s not time to throw away the tried and true methods yet: before men have the opportunity to try or pass on any new method of contraception, these options have to prove themselves in rigorous trials.

Interestingly, scientists working closely with this project say there is now greater interest in this technology than there ever was in the past and there is now more funding available worldwide than ever before.

About jasminesnroses

Hello World. I’m a recent graduate of Rutgers University, trying to make my mark. I have many interests, curiosities and ideas. All of which can be found here. So stick around =)


12 Responses to “Men May Soon Be Taking Birth Control Pills Too”

  1. Eva Sikes July 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Being accountable to yourself is good no matter whether you’re female- or male-bodied, but it’s disappointing that the men cited were concerned with the myth that women snare men with pregnancies. Taking a look at history, and the recent battle for reproductive rights, shows that if we are to generalize at all, women have been fighting for their own autonomy by choosing for themselves when to get pregnant, in order not to be at the mercy of the sexual whims of men.

    • cleo jones July 29, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

      Statistics have shown that Black women aren’t choosing to when they are getting pregnant.

      Black women seem to be choosing more and more to get”surprisingly” knocked up and becoming single mothers as if to suggest there is some red badge of honor that comes with the title.

  2. Phinesse Demps July 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    And this does what? Add to the rising count of people getting sexually transmitted diseases.Not knocking the idea but there still has to be a more of greater push for either A) Not having sex or B) Protection with this new contraceptive. This will open the door for more folks to be more irresponsible because now they will say I can just take the pill. Need balance across the board.

    • cleo jones July 29, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

      This is a concept that has been in production since the 80’s. I now wonder will horny men put this in their play book of what to tell a young lady if they want to have sex. The mere mentioning of being on a birth control pill may put a person at ease to have sex w/o thinking about it further till of course when pregnancy occurs.

      Most men seem to pig headed to take full responsibility of their own bodies to take a pill. Even educated older men have problems with using a condom because they are use to the freedom with their ex wives.

  3. Samdromeda August 3, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    And when it came time for the end… And when it came time for the end…The men will look like the women and the womern like the men. And they will dance in a hypnotic trance as if they did not care.

  4. seoteamforu August 21, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    Pills are good or bad i don’t say but i must say that testosterone pills very helpful to us. and i am thanking you to providing this info.


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