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The Male Birth Control Pill: Coming Soon?

The Male Birth Control Pill: Coming Soon?

The idea that there could some day be a male birth control pill on the market for men may actually become reality sooner than we thought. Recent advances in science and research are making male contraceptives a safer and more viable option for the future than ever before.

A recent report from the New York Times discusses the new methods that are now in trials, some of which will be presented at an October conference sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Steve Owens, a 39 year old school social worker from Seattle, bravely volunteered to test some of the new birth control methods being studied. Owens was happy with the results which lowered his sperm count so much that he could not conceive.  Once Owens was taken off the contraceptives, his sperm count was back to normal within weeks at which time he impregnated his wife and fathered a daughter.

Most of the male birth control methods being researched come in pill, implant, injection, and gel form and use hormones likes testosterone and progestin to lower sperm count. These methods work for about 95% of men who have tried them.

A pill called gamendazole, often used as an anticancer drug, has been shown to create “nonfunctional sperm” according to Gregory S. Kopf, associate vice chancellor for research administration at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The method of using ultrasound to heat a man’s testes has also worked to stop sperm production for months. Elaine Lissner, director of the Male Contraception Information Project, jokes about what could be the future of the ultrasound procedure. She says, “I can imagine a world where you take your car in every six months to get your oil changed and go next door and get your ultrasound for 50 bucks.”

Scientists and pharmaceutical companies are now just counting down the days until one of these new male contraceptives proves to be as effective and safe as the pill for women.

Tell us what you think of the male birth control pill.

Would you encourage your partner to try one of the new methods once they are approved and available?
 

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  • aarriola By aarriola
    07.27.11  

    yay! share the ongoing responsibility!

  • basilandcatnip By basilandcatnip
    08.09.11  

    Hadn't heard if it until this article. I like the idea of shared responsibility. (Also let them have the health risks, bills, insurance forms, drs appts, etc associated with it for awhile). But could we trust them to take it everyday, and at the same time?? I'd hope. Something new to look forward to! Thanks for the post.

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