According to the Today show, a new type of male birth control injection has shown very promising results in a large study of over 1,000 healthy, fertile men. In fact, in current clinical studies, the male contraceptive injection has been shown to be 99% effective – roughly the same rate enjoyed by the majority of female hormonal birth control methods. The male contraceptive injection alters the male hormonal system to temporarily lower or completely stop sperm production while a man is using the shot. The good news is that these injections are completely reversible – research has shown that about 67% of the men tested had their sperm count rise to normal within six months (with nearly all the men reaching normal sperm within a year). Also, the shots appear to have no side effects.
The United Nations World Health Organization, the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Sydney have all conducted trials to study the effects of these weekly testosterone injections on sperm production. They have found the use of steroid hormones called androgens, primarily responsible for controlling the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics, have also been shown to lower sperm count without any change in libido, potency, or the ability to get an erection and achieve orgasm.
With over 40% of U.S. women using some form of birth control, men may be able to join them in the near future. Sadly, though, in a survey of 100 male students at Youngstown State University, 97% said they have never even heard of male birth control research, and the other 3% said they know very little about it. Additionally, all 100 students surveyed said they would not use any form of male hormonal contraception.
Helen Axby is affiliated with the British Family Planning center while she also works very closely with the World Health Organization. Axby’s take on the survey, "the wait for a male contraceptive will not be as long as the wait for men to take responsibility for their own birth control."
My male readers - what are your thoughts? Post a comment – would you be willing to use a male contraceptive?
- Effectiveness of All Birth Control Methods
- More on Available Female Contraceptive Injections
- Depo Provera Birth Control Shot
Male Injection Photo Courtesy of Hans Neleman / Getty Images