Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Birth Control Shot for Men

I’ve been waiting for the day when some drug company would introduce a new birth control method for men. We’re not there yet but this day is getting closer with a Chinese study designed to test the effectiveness of a new formula birth control shot for guys.

I thought this was pretty exciting stuff so I did a bit of research into this development, a summary of which was published in this month’s edition of Unscripted. Here’s an excerpt:

In a recent study, 1,045 Chinese men between 20 and 45 years of age were given testosterone injections for over two years. All these men had fathered a child within the last two years and their partners did not report any fertility problems. Yet these shots where able to prevent pregnancy 99% of the time, coming close to the success rate of female hormonal contraceptives.

It been know for years that testosterone shots suppress sperm production but in most previous studies men were subjected to weekly shots instead of the monthly shot given to the men in the Chinese study. Previously researchers and marketers had doubted that men would sign up for a weekly shot so the testosterone shot never really got traction as a viable method for male birth control. And, even though the men taking these shots reported very few side effects (acne and higher sex drive are two), there remains some concern about the long-term effects of testosterone on the prostrate gland and heart, and on the behavioral effects of testosterone.

The main benefit of the testosterone shot is, like the birth control pill for women, this method is reversible. So for those guys who want to take responsibility for their own reproductive lives but aren’t ready to be snipped, this could prove to be the answer.

The question is: Are there enough men out there ready and willing to take a monthly shot?

You tell me…
Flickr photo by stevendepolo (cc)


Cyberfind said...
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Laura Scott said...

Good question. Ask the men you know about their degree of willingness to take hormones to prevent pregnancy.