A recent sexual health report was published in October in relation to a male birth control study. It was highlighted that there was 96% success rate for preventing pregnancy, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in Washington, D.C.
This form of birth control is a two-hormone injection of progesterone and a form of testosterone. The injection, administered every eight weeks, is meant to inhibit sperm production by signalling the brain that the testicles do not need to produce testosterone or, subsequently, sperm. Take careful note, that this is not the best testosterone booster for muscle gain idea, not at all.
Participants were men aged 18 to 35 who had been in a monogamous relationship for at least a year, and whose partners were willing to accept the low but possible risk of pregnancy.
The study was cosponsored by the United Nations and took place at ten study sites across the world in locations such as Australia, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Research lasted from 2008 until 2012, when scientists decided to halt the research due to unforeseen side effects. Despite success in preventing pregnancy, the 320 male participants reported a total of 1,491 adverse effects.
These included acne, increased libido, and depression. Eight participants reported prolonged infertility issues for over a year after ending the study, though, on average, fertility returned to normal within 12 to 26 weeks. Incredibly, however, 75% of the participants said that they would continue to use the shot despite its effects.
Scientists and others have not hesitated to point out that the side effects experienced by men are the typical side effects women experience when they use birth control. In fact, another recently published study from JAMA Psychiatry showed that prolonged use of the birth control was linked to severe depression and anxiety in women.
Additionally, Elisabeth Lloyd, a faculty scholar from the Kinsey Institute in the United States, was quick to point out that the issues posed by male birth control pale in comparison to potentially fatal risks associated with female birth control pills, like strokes and blood clots.
“Are [men] taking their life in their hands when they take the hormones? Women are. And that needs to be put right up front when considering the risk.”
What do I think
Sexually active teenagers and adults alike are constantly plagued with decisions regarding birth control. Whose responsibility is it to supply it? What kind should you use? How does it work? The introduction of male birth control does take a lot of responsibility off of women in sexual situations, but it does not take away the responsibility of preventing STIs.
Condoms are the only fail-safe method to preventing the spread of STIs, which are becoming somewhat of an epidemic in the polyamorous, sexually active community.
At the end of the day, it’s reassuring that there is more than one option at the disposal of those sexually active — but until there is a solution to the spread of STIs, keep that condom handy.