Male Birth Control Study Killed After Men Report Side Effects
by AStorm97 on May 10, 2017 - 7:15pm
The article I chose for my final project was about a male birth control study. In this study, researchers took 320 men from different countries around the world and gave each of them a birth control shot. In the shot was two hormones to greatly reduce sperm count, which then lowers the risk of their partners getting pregnant. The shots were to be continued once every eight weeks in the study, but it was stopped short. The side effects were too severe for some of the participants, and the researchers decided to stop it. The men in the study got severe acne, mood swings, depression, and one even became suicidal. In the article, it mentioned that some of these side effects are indeed seen from the birth control pills women now take, such as the acne and weight gain. However, the reason the study was stopped was because even with the birth control pills and medications women take, they don’t see suicidal tendencies as one of the side effects. In conclusion, the male birth control was a success to decrease the risk of pregnancy, but scientists were disappointed that the side effects were not only too severe to complete the study, but also as a regular birth control used. They are supposed to work on some new combinations of hormones for another attempt at this male birth control and instead of it lowering the sperm count, the scientists are looking into effecting the sperms’ ability to fertilize the egg.
I chose this article because the topic in general is very interesting to me. Birth control pills were always seen as a female responsibility, so it was really cool to hear about a trial of men doing it and seeing their reactions. I personally believe women do not get enough credit or consideration for the pain they endure, such as menstrual cramps, being pregnant, and even giving birth. With each of these, women already deal with acne, headaches, fatigue, intense pain, bleeding, bloating, hormone changes, mood swings and many other symptoms. I feel as though all of this pain is overlooked and kind of expected of the woman. When the males felt some of these symptoms from the birth control, they dropped out of the study. In real life, however, women can’t just simply stop being pregnant because it is too uncomfortable. They cannot just say “getting my period is just too painful, I don’t want it anymore”. Even with their birth control, women still get the incredible weight gain and acne. Through other life processes, however, women do experience some of the severe side effects that men experienced in the study. The only difference is that women grow up being told this pain is a part of their life, men aren’t. It is a woman’s reality.
I enjoyed reading about this possibility of birth control being used by males, because it could alleviate some worry from the females. Women can relieve some stress related to their birth control if the male starts taking on that responsibility. Some questions I would ask are:
Is this birth control only going to always be a shot, or can it be a pill as well? What hormones were in this injection? If the males kept using the birth control regularly then stopped because they wanted to try getting their partner pregnant, would their sperm count return to normal?
Here’s the link to the original article : http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/11/03/500549503/male-birth-control-study-killed-after-men-complain-about-side-effects