A good news to all the women! Scientists have finally thought of inventing the male birth control pills. And they will be made available in the markets, soon.
Since, 1960 women have been introduced to various contraceptive measures like pills, rings and injections, etc. However, for men not many options were introduced. The contraceptive measures were limited to condoms and vasectomy. The much researched on ‘male birth control pills’ are going to be out soon.
How Does it Work?
This pill will pretty much work in the same fashion as a female birth control pill. In case of a male using a birth control pill, the testosterone which is secreted in the male testes, plus the additional testosterone along with progesterone will stop making sperms. Progesterone will suppress the rate at which sperms are produced and the pills can be as effective as Vasectomy. But as, testosterone breaks during digestion, this combination pill of progesterone and testosterone cannot hold enough testosterone to be able to reverse the effect of progesterone.
The invention of male birth control pills was more complex than the pills for females. This is because a man ejaculates 100 to 500 million sperms every single time, whereas a woman ovulates only once a month. When a woman uses a birth control pill, a combination of the progesterone and estrogen, sends a signal to the brain for releasing the egg. Flushing the egg out at once is far more simple than stopping millions of sperms.
Myth or Reality?
Scientists have been working on this for the past 30-40 years. Many scientists and researchers claim, that the pill or the hormone is ready, but due to the lack of funding these pills have not made an entry in the market.
Initially tests were performed on mice and after the pills were claimed to be safe, many volunteers also chose to experiment with them. Till now, the results have been positive and it has achieved up to 95% protection. A male birth control pill will be used as a substitute for vasectomy. A man will need to consume the pill on daily basis or will need to get an injection after a prescribed time span. The male contraceptive pill will take another 5-7 years to reach the market. Male emergency contraceptives or i-pills have still not been invented, it’s creation is in the research phase.
Researchers have also stated, that the first male birth control pill is not going to be in the form of a pill. Initially, it is going to be made available at doctors clinics in the form of injections and will need to be taken every 2 or 3 months. Besides, it is also going to be made available in the form of a gel or a patch or an implant which is going to be placed under the skin and will be replaced, every 12 months. So, as male contraceptive pills are said to be ready, they are still going to take a couple of years, say 5-7, to be readily available in the market. This is because of lack of funds and lack of interest.
Lack of interest from the men as they are not willing to experiment with these pills. They are skeptical of its side effects and thus, the sponsors are also not keen in investing. Another problem is that women are not completely willing to trust their partners, this has reduced the marketability of the product.
When asked about the availability of the male birth control pills in the market, Dr. Andrea Coviello said, “It largely depends on how funding continues. The technology is there. We know how it would work“.
- Less severe than vasectomy
- More reliable than a condom
- Weight gain
- Drop in normal cholesterol level
- Shrinking of the testes
- Impact on libido
These side effects are said to be so mild, that they can go unnoticed. Larry Setlow, a male birth control volunteer said, “They all worked really well and I was able to look at my lab results and see my sperm count drop to zero.” Quentin Brown, another volunteer said that “It seemed like I was getting headaches and then there were times when I woke up sweating at night and I had to change my shirt. Other than that, I didn’t have any side effects”. He did not face any acne or weight loss problem. Therefore, the side effects of the pills are likely to be different for different people.
The invention of the male birth control pill is a good news for the women, as the burden of birth control can be equally distributed among both partners. Though, men and women both will need to wait for a few years more for the male birth controls pills to be made available to them.