It’s on its way
Male birth control is on its way to becoming available to the public, the “are you on the pill?” question is going to be applicable to men as well.
Birth control, in one way, revolutionized reproductive health. Since its invention in the 1960s, women have 11 different birth control options to choose from, such as barrier methods and hormonal contraception.
Lack of birth control options for men means that they have to rely on contraceptive methods like the condom. But with the new male birth control pill, it’s giving men the power, responsibility, and autonomy over their own bodies.
Control and Autonomy for Men
When it comes to sex, men are often using condoms. And let’s get real, the options aren’t ideal for men. Condoms can be uncomfortable at times, yet, men don’t have any other option to avoid contracting STI's or unplanned pregnancies. Of course, some use the pull out method; however, that’s not a form of birth control and it is unsafe.
The other option men have is undergoing a vasectomy, which for many men, especially young men, isn’t a preferable solution. Additionally, the social stigma about vasectomies and going under the knife puts many in an uneasy position. There’s no middle ground when it comes to birth control for men, and this is the problem.
With the male birth control pill, men will have the freedom and the responsibility of taking care of their own bodies. It’s important that everyone, regardless of their sex, are able to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancies and STI's properly.
The future of male birth control
The male birth control pill, 11-Beta-MNTDC, is in the early stages of research. As Stephaine T. Page, Ph.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine states, “ the overall goal of our work in developing male hormonal contraceptives is to create a menu of contraceptive choices for men. Such as pills, injections, implants or gels similar to the choices of method that women have.”
Men need more choices when it comes to sexual health.
The good thing is the results are looking positive. In a recent study that included forty male participants, thirty of them received 11-Beta-MNTDC, and the other ten participants received a placebo.
Though all birth control methods have side effects, it was found that the male birth control pill had only a few and were all mild cases of either fatigue, acne, or headaches.
Once the participants stopped using 11-Beta-MNTDC, the side effects reversed. This trial alone proved the success of the initial stages of male birth control and opened the door for further trials and testing.
If these trials continue on a larger scale and consistently produce positive results, the future of contraception is looking bright for men.
Dr. Christina Wang, Associate Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Los Angeles Biomed Research Institute states, “safe, reversible hormonal male contraception should be available in about 10 years.”
There’s more to the male birth control pill than what meets the eye; it’s symbolic. Never in the history of medicine will men be more in control over their own bodies.
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