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Improvements in male birth control

Male birth control is a product that has been in the development for years, even as early as the 1950s.

Recently, a study was commissioned by the World Health Organization, in which 320 men in monogamous heterosexual relationships around the world were given two injections of hormones every eight weeks that were designed to lower sperm count.

The study found that the injections were 96 percent effective and of the 320 participants, only four pregnancies resulted from this.

However, this study was cut short after the side effects were found to be too severe, with 1,491 reports of adverse effects of the drug. Many participants dropped out of the study because the side effects were too severe.

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Some of these side effects included the development of acne and mood swings. The most dangerous side effects included one man developing severe depression and another attempting to commit suicide.

The study was stopped after a committee found the birth control to have too many side effects.

Male birth control opinion
Female contraceptive pills have been approved since 1960.(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons)

The average recovery time for the men to be considered fertile again was approximately 26 weeks.

Another adverse effect of the birth control was that after one year of not taking the injections, eight people were found to still be infertile.

Those who supported the study believed that it was hypocritical for researchers to end the study because women have been having to deal with similar symptoms – like weight gain and mood swings – when taking birth control as well.

Some people were against the study and supported the cancellation of it. They claim that it is incredibly dangerous to be tampering with people’s emotions and even believe that it may violate the ethical clinical background guidelines.

According to the scientists who conducted the study, although this was a setback in terms of developing a successful male birth control, they are still optimistic that with some adjustments to the hormones injected, a solution will eventually be found.

While the opportunity for male birth control would be beneficial in reducing unwanted pregnancies, more research should be conducted in order to ensure the product is as safe as possible. Hopefully, this study is opening the discussion of improving the quality of female birth control as well.

If this is something that you are interested in, I encourage you to do more research on the topic and be aware of further research that will certainly be conducted.

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