There May be a Male Birth Control Pill Coming.
The options for male contraception are dismal. Aside from condoms or just pulling out (risky!), the only other real options for male birth control are pretty invasive and permanent— vasectomies, and a very limited option, available only to men in India through clinical trial, that involves an injection to the vas deferens in the penis.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota could be on the verge of a new breakthrough option for men that could come in pill form. The research team, led by Dr. Gunda Georg, has found and isolated a “test compound” that could be a building point for a non-hormonal birth control pill for men.
The researchers are focusing on non-hormonal options because testosterone doesn’t work in up to 20 percent of men and comes with side effects like weight gain and a decrease in good cholesterol. To make it to market, a male birth control option would have to be taken by mouth in pill form, start working “fairly quickly,” not diminish sex drive, and be safe even if someone takes it for decades. As Dr. Georg pointed out in the statement, “that’s a very high bar for bringing a male contraceptive to market.”
Of course the ultimate goal is to give men an easy, viable option for birth control, so that some of the burden of contraception can be shifted off women who either can’t take or just hate taking a pill every day. Here’s to hoping a solution is presented in our lifetime.