We are one step closer to having a male birth control pill on the market! Yes, get excited! Researchers reported earlier this week in New Orleans that they’ve been conducting tests and the results are very good. Now let’s bring down that excitement because the sad (and not surprising) thing about this medical advancement is that men will probably not take it.
The study, based on tests conducted on 40 healthy men, between the ages of 18 and 50 (including 10 who received a placebo) showed that the production of sperm decreased and that only a handful of men taking the pill reported side effects. Now before you (speaking to male readers), freak out about those side effects, you must by now that the birth control pill that women take also has side effects and yet we still take it, so calm down.
This is the second test that’s been conducted on the pill, basically to support the results in the first test. In this latest study, none of the men dropped out of the study (yay!) — and as we said, the side effects were only reported by a handful — that means 5 or less out of 40. If it sounds like we are condescending, you’re correct, and it’s because the results are a success but we still realize men will have hesitations about even considering to take it.
One of the biggest components to the research is making sure the pill doesn’t limit or take away from a man’s testosterone. So while the pill should prevent pregnancy, we cannot lose sight of what’s important here: that men are still manly!
Stephanie Page, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, led the study along with Christina Wang, a professor of medicine at UCLA in Los Angeles. On March 24 at the Endocrine Society annual meeting, Prof. Page reported their findings.
“Since testosterone production is shut down in the testes, the androgen action in the rest of the body maintains ‘maleness’ elsewhere, supporting things like male pattern hair, deep voice, sex drive and function, and lean body mass.” So all of those male elements remained intact.
The side effects that did occur included “fatigue, headache, acne, decreased libido and mild erectile dysfunction,” The Guardian reports. We find that ironic because “fatigue, headache, acne, decreased libido” is exactly the symptoms some of us face when during we’re on our period. And we again, we will emphasize, only a handful of men reported those symptoms.
So, while this is a huge breakthrough, we’re probably still about ten years (maybe more) away from having the male birth control pill for mass consumption. That’s at least what one (male) doctor said. Typical.