Responsibility often falls on women when it comes to contraception. The pill is one of the most popular forms out there and it always comes down to women to remember to take it, but that might not be the case for too much longer. Researchers have been developing a contraceptive jab for men that performs the same function.
Initial studies into the contraceptive jab for men have been encouraging but it’s far from being ready for widespread use because it has a lot of side effects. During the preclinical molecular imaging stages, the drug was found to be safe so it has been tested on a number of couples. A university in Germany carried out tests on 320 men and their partners. After an initial period of taking regular injections, the men embarked on a one year trial of using the jab as contraception with their partners.
When it came to preventing pregnancy, the jab is 98.4 percent effective which is just as high as most forms of contraception that are being used already. The problem isn’t with the jab’s ability to stop pregnancy, it’s with all of the other side effects that come along with it.
A staggering 45.9 percent of men involved in the study reported developing serious acne as a result of the jabs. About a fifth of them also reported severe mood swings and mood disorders while they were on the jab. These are both problems that are associated with a lot of female contraceptive pills so it’s unlikely that those side effects would be enough to stop the jab from being rolled out, however, there are some more serious repercussions.
Around 5 percent of the men involved in the study did not see a recovery in their sperm count after a year. This is a huge problem because if the effects are permanent then people might find themselves completely unable to have children as a result of using the contraceptive jab.
Most of the people involved in the study said that they would be happy to use this form of contraception as long as the side effects were sorted out because it is less drastic than a vasectomy which is the only option men have other than condoms.
As well as the injection, there are a few other male contraceptive options being worked on at the moment but it’s unclear just how long development will take. A few of them are in the form of pills that can be taken just like the female contraceptive pill but they are only in early testing phases at the moment.
Having a pill that men can take is an amazing prospect because it means that women can stop taking hormonal pills that often cause them a lot of health problems. The only downside is that there are fears that it could lead to a reduction in the use of condoms. If more men are using the pill and not relying on condoms to prevent pregnancy then there is an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
The male contraceptive jabs and pills could completely revolutionize the way that we deal with pregnancy prevention.