The male pill? Bring it on

Don’t tell me men couldn’t be trusted to take contraceptive pills – I did two trials, and it was frankly brilliant

The male contraceptive pill is in the news again, and, having done two years’ of clinical trials, I hope this time it will really happen. It is for commercial and social reasons that the male pill is not yet available, not scientific ones – the drug companies think men won’t be interested, and they think women won’t trust men who say: “Don’t worry, darling, I’m on the pill.” But my experience, albeit more than a decade ago, was largely positive, and those attitudes are seriously outdated. The first time I took part, I was off with my then-partner to the family planning clinic, when she said: “It’s so unfair that there isn’t a pill you could take instead of me. Would you, if you could?” There’s really only one answer to that question. When we got to the clinic there was a cheesy poster on the wall showing Neil Armstrong on the moon, captioned “Be the first man on the pill!” And so the deal was done. (via The male pill? Bring it on | James Mackenzie | Comment is free | theguardian.com)

800,000 women in the U.K. use a birth control called Implanon. It’s a match stick-sized device that is placed under the skin in a fat layer of the upper arm. It’s designed to release hormones that stop ovulation, preventing conception for up to five years. It’s a fairly simple procedure, and the implant can be taken out at any time. But it must be put in, and taken out, by a doctor. 

But hundreds of British women who were using an implant nevertheless wound up pregnant last year and — after visiting doctors to have the implants removed — discovered that the implants were nowhere to be found. 

The birth control that’s getting lost in women’s bodies

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History’s Worst Contraceptives by Engender Health.

I have read that male birth-control pills is in the making. Why they have taken so long? What are the problems?

Doc Kon-igi jests answers.

I’d say, if blood goes to the stomach to digest this, it won’t go down where it’s needed.

All jokes aside, for years a pharmacological method to prevent spermatogenesis has been studied and recently scientists have agreed to abandon the use of molecules “off-label” (i.e. they have other primary indications, but their secondary effect makes the male infertile) as Gamendazole or Adjudin. Now researchers are turning to a multiple hormonal contraceptive, in the form of a monthly injection of medroxyprogesterone acetate depot with a supplement of testosterone gel or with use of testosterone undecanoate.

You can find the studies here and here, but they tell us that the road for a large-scale commercialization is still long, either thanks to a biological factor (objectively, it is easier to inhibit in a reversible manner ovulation rather than spermatogenesis), or for a (mal)practice factor: the man impregnates and flees while the woman “must” bake the bun in the oven. And, as a result, there is the misconception that only women should be worrying about this issue.

Ask kon-igi & science-junkie a question.

I’m so disappointed right now.

It’s utter bullshit that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a religious corporation over women. I don’t give a shit about your religious beliefs, if a woman wants to put herself on birth control she has every right to do so. You can’t deny her access to basic healthcare. Also, not all women put themselves on birth control in order to prevent pregnancy…some women have to be on it because of other health reasons.

Women are goddamn people too. Quit treating us like we’re second class citizens.

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