Can you imagine a world where it isn’t the woman’s responsibility in a heterosexual encounter to make sure she doesn’t get pregnant? Do you see a scenario where it’s men, not women, who have to mess with their hormones to have sex without making a baby? Well, science is one step closer to making that dream world a reality.
Male birth control has been a long time coming (and has met great resistance) but at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting on Sunday, researchers presented the most promising results yet. A study of 100 men aged 18 to 50 found that a daily pill containing dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU) could be both a safe and effective method of male birth control.
After just one month, there was a significant drop in testosterone and two other sperm-making hormones in the men taking the pill daily. Since it takes about three months for hormone levels to affect sperm production, researchers can’t yet test if the method will decrease sperm count. They consider these early results promising based on previous male contraceptive research.
What of the side effects? We all know the laundry list of symptoms women can get from various types of birth control. It looks like men have it easier. The only two side-effects reported in this trial were weight gain and lowered levels of HDL cholesterol (that’s the “good” kind). The researchers are confident that a tweak in the dosage could completely eliminate those responses. Wow, when these guys are done figuring out male birth control, we should have them take a look at the female stuff and get rid of those unwanted side effects.
The research team is currently in the middle of a three-month study which will reveal if their new drug actually has an effect on sperm count. This contraceptive is a long way from being publicly available, but it’s a little glimmer of hope.
— BELLA BELLA (@irisp88_) March 22, 2018
If the woman can’t take it for some reason I think it’s great that a man can now Even better if both take it
— Evlyne Jessen (@915171a9c9c249b) March 20, 2018
— blackpanther’s twin (@NigelNyatsambo) March 21, 2018
While a handful of men online thought it was a good idea and said they would be willing to give it a try, most were resistant to the idea. And expressed their displeasure in gif form.
— Steven Hunter ☦ (@_StevenHunter_) March 23, 2018
— Jerry Koff (@DerrickBagg) March 23, 2018
— sprokets (@sprokets1) March 23, 2018
Nope!!! miss me with that BS, I’d rather have 15 kids than lowering my testosterone pic.twitter.com/0YiiaLkpgA
— ~SiYa (@DigitalGunn) March 23, 2018
It remains to be seen how popular male birth control will be among the wider population of men. We still have years to wait for it, so maybe opinions will change. It’s unlikely, but who knows?