This is a topic of discussion that has been on the table for years; legit… years. As of lately we are one step closer to male birth control. However, it’s not in the form of a pill, it’s a gel? The US National Institute of Health and the Population Council (who knew that was a thing) have been recruiting couples to do a year-long trial on the gel. The male has to apply a hormonal gel to both their shoulders, twice a day. These couples will be using the gel as their only method of birth control. Now you’re probably thinking how can male birth control be a gel? How does male birth control work? Well, here’s your low down.
How Does Male Birth Control Work?
The gel is supposed to deliver a combination of testosterone and progestin. Although, I am still confused on why they are put on your shoulders rather than a region that produces sperm. However, during the pilot trial, the gel was proven to have reduced sperm counts while maintaining healthy testosterone levels. There was an attempt in 2016 of examining a male birth control injection by the World Health Organization. However it was cut short when patients reported side effects.
As a form of male birth control, the shot was given once every two months which is a pretty incredible gig. It was proven to be 96% effective. However 20 of the 320 patients dropped out citing they felt pain and erectile dysfunction. However, the most absurd reason for the participant halt were complaints of depression, mood swings and acne. Sorry dudes but what do you think we deal with regularly?
The male birth control gel is expected to have less severe side effects than the injection since the hormones will be released more consistently. The most common side effect of the male birth control gel is acne which is pretty solid considering. However, during the pilot trial volunteers reported mood swings, headaches, increased appetite and insomnia; all known side effects for female birth control pills.
Currently, the only methods of male birth control are a vasectomy and condoms. Stupidly people have referenced the “pullout” method which we all know that’s not truly effective or considered a form of male birth control. Stay safe!