Men's Health, Reproductive Health, Research Findings, Sexual Health, Women's Health

What’s the Deal with Male Birth Control?

By: Aria Gray MPH: Maternal and Child Health candidate 2017

I have been on many different types of birth control in the past 10+ years, all with varying levels of success and each with a new set of side effects including migraines. It has never been a question of if I should try a new method since no there is no effective reversible male birth control available.

Recently, it has made headlines that a male birth control shot has been found to effectively prevent pregnancy in a newly published study. Unfortunately, participants in the study reported adverse side effects including mood changes, depression, and increased and 20 participants dropped out of the study leading researchers to stop the study earlier than planned.

These reports come very soon after another recently published study that was in the news, which cited that hormonal birth control can cause depression in women.

While this particular study was cut short, it is my hope that research continues to search for a safe and effective method of male birth control. Over 80% of the male participants in the study responded that they would use this method of contraception outside of the study, which is hopeful for the future, and a sign that this method is very much wanted and needed. Both women and men deserve to have reproductive freedom without having to jeopardize their health or mental health.

But for now, until male birth control that is safe and effective is developed and approved, women must bear an unequal burden to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Read more about this interesting topic here.

  • clueckin

    Aria, one of your last statements "…women must bear an unequal burden to prevent unwanted pregnancies" is very striking. I have never paused to think about it from that angle. Some hormonal contraceptives may have other health or medical benefits outside of birth control. But I think you bring up an excellent point that much of the 'burden' has fallen to women. This study you mention seems to be against the grain. What do you think it would take for this area of research to gain traction? What do you think the public attitude, particularly males, regarding this is? I'm curious if some demographic segments (e.g. age) might be more open to it than others.

  • shaunala

    I agree this is pushing the envelope a little, but I love the idea. It is unfair that women carry the burden of reproductive responsibilities from birth control, to child birth, to child rearing. I think there needs to be a shift in the way people view this topic, but I fear that it's too progressive in our current society. Hopefully in time, people can come to realize how important and life-altering this could be for future generations and the world. The growing population is a serious threat to humanity and the environment. This could be one strategy to help slow the exponential growth.