Researchers find male birth control with 96 percent success rate, study ends early when 20 men drop out citing things like mood changes
Hormonal birth control is amazing. It allows women to take control of their fertility and family planning decisions. There are so many reasons why it’s one of the most important medical advances of the 20th century, but guess what? No one ever said it didn’t suck.
Women have been dealing with weight gain, mood swings, acne, and a plethora of other issues related to side effects from the pill for decades. It still exists, because of course it does. Women are expected to endure immense pain and discomfort as a matter of being. Need some examples? Natural childbirth. Menstrual cramps. Oh, and every damn side effect that goes along with being the one expected to ingest hormones to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
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Well now it seems we’re finally getting closer to a male hormonal birth control pill. Only, maybe not. Because even though researchers found a male birth control pill that has a 96% success rate, the study had to come to an end early because 20 of the 320 men couldn’t handle the side effects and had to drop out.
The study, released last week, found that a male contraceptive injection could be almost as effective as the pill, with a success rate of 96 percent. The study recruited 320 men between the ages of 18 and 45. “Twenty men discontinued the study due to product-related side effects. Of these 20, 6 men discontinued only for changes in mood, and 6 men discontinued for the following single reasons: acne, pain or panic at first injection, palpitations, hypertension, and erectile dysfunction. Eight men discontinued for more than 1 side effect, including multiple reasons related to changes in mood.”
Just last month, a massive study confirmed that women taking oral contraceptives are more likely to be treated for depression. Much more. Researchers found that women taking the combined oral contraceptive pill were 23% more likely to be diagnosed with depression and those using progestin-only pills (aka “the mini-pill”) were 34% more likely. And teens? Their depression risk increased 80% when taking the combined pill, and it was double that with the mini-pill.
Yet hormonal birth control is widely available to women and such side effects as weight gain, depression, mood changes, and acne are considered par for the course.
A press release for the study said, “Men can take birth control shots to prevent pregnancy in their female partners, according to a new study. Researchers are still working to perfect the combination of hormonal contraceptives to reduce the risk of mild to moderate side effects, including depression and other mood disorders.” It would be nice if researchers and pharmaceutical companies approached women’s health with the same care that they approach men’s.
I mean, WTF? Men need a pill with zero side effects before it can hit the market? Can we get one of those too, please? The fact is, women are twice as likely to experience depression as men. Can researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and fucking everyone start caring about our mental health, too?
It’s hilarious that we’re always considered the “weaker sex” and the ones who complain too much. Imagine what childbirth would be like if men had to do it? Our entire species would probably just wither into extinction because men were only willing to become pregnant if they could be guaranteed that they would never cry, experience weight gain, or ponder the possibility of pain.