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

Comments

This is such an interesting article, Amber. I didn't realize how difficult it is to find a male contraceptive because they don't have the "cycle" that females do. I found the hormones they use in another article. The shots contained two hormones: a form of testosterone called testosterone undecanoate, and a form of progestogen called norethisterone enanthate. Both hormones suppress sperm production, and they are used together in order to reduce side effects. http://www.livescience.com/56670-male-birth-control-hormone-shots.html

Amber your final project was interested to read. I think it is good the researchers were doing a trial on men for birth control. I feel like men need to understand what women go through in life. I also think it is great that men could have the responsibility of taking birth control. I think your right women can't just stop being pregnant like the men stop taking the birth control shot because of the side affects. I hope the researchers could find some sort of birth control for men in the future. I do believe women are told that we go through pain so we expect it, and men don't expect the pain women go through.

This is such an interesting article you chose! i saw a couple things on facebook about a study on using birth control on men but i wasnt sure if it was real or not. it is incredible that they can make things like this but unfortunate that it didnt work. it has always been a worry of mine that since ive been on birth control for so long it would make me not fertile when i did decide to have kids but i have done a lot of research on it and from what i have found you still remain as fertile as you were before but it takes about a month to get all the hormone out of our bodies. Men are constantly bashing woman for complaining how much period cramps hurt and how moody they get simply because they just dont understand it is funny to me to see that they just couldnt handle it! I really wonder if this birth control would effect how fertile a man is after they stop taking it when they are ready to reproduce or if it would be the same as for woman. i like how you said woman grow up being told that these things are a normal process of puberty and life but men are unaware because it isnt happening to them. Atleast they were lucky enough to stop because they couldnt handle it! unlike us we are simply stuck with it forever! i enjoyed your article a lot! Great work!

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