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Thursday, 29 September 2011

Birth Control Pill for Men

If a published research in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism is to be believed, then yes. The male contraceptive pill could soon be a reality.

It is indeed a cause for surprise that while women have had the option of oral contraception for several decades now, an equivalent has not been found for men. This may be because of the pretty potent contraceptives available to men already.

Thumb down for the pills?

But not everyone thinks contraceptive pills for men are a great idea. According to Rakesh Sinha, a Delhi based entrepreneur, “Why even research something that we don’t need? If they can come up with hundred percent effective condoms; that will be something! I’m not comfortable ingesting pills to suppress he production of sperm...”

That is how a male contraceptive pill would work, though. As Dr. A. S. Bhatia of a leading Delhi hospital explains, “A male contraceptive pill would have to be something which stops on ingesting or reduces the production of sperm in males for a specified amount of time, much like the female contraceptive pill. But, given that women produce one egg a month and men produce about 3 600 000 sperm cells an hour, the modalities of any pill will have to be carefully considered.”

Injectable testosterone can be effective in male birth control

This scepticism has not deterred scientists, though. Some Chinese researchers claim to have performed experiments and conducted tests that have shown that injectable testosterone can be effective in male birth control. Once a month for 30 months, these doctors injected over a thousand healthy, fertile Chinese men, 20 to 45 years old, with 500 milligrams of testosterone undecanoate mixed in tea seed oil. The paper published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism claims that the contraception was effective and the resulting pregnancy rate was found to be just 1.1 per 1000 men in two years.

But the research is still under way and it may still be a while before men could go and buy contraceptive pills over-the-counter.

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