We’ve been hearing about the male contraceptive pill in development for some years now. But this year, huge leaps have been made because for the first time it has been tested on men.
Male contraception hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years and options remain limited. Outside of a vasectomy or using a condom, there really isn’t anything else proven to work as effective male contraception. Whilst for women, there has been an ongoing revolution for contraception ever since the release of the the contraceptive pill back in 1961.
The main challenge which has faced researchers for male contraception to work is that it needs to suppress all of the sperm produced by a man during ejaculation. Whereas for female contraception, only one ovum needs to be suppressed.
A man produces around 300 million sperm per ejaculation, so now we see where the in balance has occurred, it’s 300 million verses one.
But there is hope out there guys, researchers have made a breakthrough to diminish the amount of sperm but in a way that’s safe and has minimal side effects.
About the latest test for the male contraceptive pill
The findings of the latest study were carried out with the Harbour-UCLA Medical Centre and were presented at ENDO 2018.
The research led by the University of Washington, had trialled the male pill on 83 men aged 18 to 50 years old. They were given the the oral tablet once a day for a month. The group of men had experienced no significant physical side effects after taking the male pill for a month, only mild weight gain and acne.
In previous male contraception pill trials, liver damage had occurred but not in this trail.
After a month of taking the male pill daily the men showed significant declines in their testosterone and gonadotropins levels. These are the hormones needed to make sperm.
But before you get too excited, Dr Kevin McEleny, of the British Fertility Society, said the research was interesting, but added: ‘The study is short term and really only looks at a few potential outcomes. It doesn’t actually look at semen quality.’
How does the male contraceptive pill work?
Much like the female contraceptive pill, it’s a oral tablet to be taken once a day. It works by switching off a man’s testosterone and hormones creating the production of sperm. Bringing the man’s sperm count low enough so that a man cannot get his partner pregnant.