Male Birth Control Pills

Male birth control pill soon a reality

Implants, patches and creams also on the way

SEATTLE, Oct. 1 — Forty-year-old Scott Hardin says he’s glad that men may soon have a new choice when it comes to birth control. But, he adds, he would not even consider taking a male hormonal contraceptive. Hardin is like many men who are pleased to hear they may have a new option but are wary of taking any type of hormones.

“I WOULD rather rely on a solution that doesn’t involving medicating myself and the problems women have had with hormone therapy doesn’t make me anxious to want to sign on to taking a hormone-type therapy,” says Hardin, who is single and a college administrator.
For the first time, a safe, effective and reversible hormonal male contraceptive appears to be within reach. Several formulations are expected to become commercially available within the near future. Men may soon have the options of a daily pill to be taken orally, a patch or gel to be applied to the skin, an injection given every three months or an implant placed under the skin every 12 months, according to Seattle researchers.
“It largely depends on how funding continues. The technology is there. We know how it would work,” says Dr. Andrea Coviello, who is helping to test several male contraceptives at the Population Center for Research in Reproduction at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Coviello and her colleagues have found that a male contraceptive that releases testosterone over three months is potentially a safe and practical method of contraception. The Seattle researchers have been testing a sustained-released, testosterone micro-capsule, which consists of a thick liquid administered by injection under the skin.
“I never had any real noticeable side effects. I didn’t notice any mood changes. I may have put on a little weight,” says Larry Setlow, a 39-year-old computer programmer with a small software company in Seattle. He has taken part in three male hormonal contraceptive clinical trials at the University of Washington and has received both pills and injections.
“They all worked really well and I was able to look at my lab results and see my sperm count drop to zero,” says Setlow.

Women have had the option of a safe, effective and reversible form of contraception since the development of the female oral contraceptive pill in the 1960s.

Female contraceptives use hormones, estrogens and progestins, to shut off the release of eggs to prevent pregnancy. Male hormonal contraceptives work pretty much the same way: hormones, such as testosterone and progestins, are used to turn off sperm production.
“It seemed like I was getting headaches and then there were times when I woke up sweating at night and I had to change my shirt. Other than that, I didn’t have any side effects,” says 45-year-old Quentin Brown, who lives in Los Angeles and has been a volunteer in a study of MHCs at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif.
Brown has been taking hormonal contraceptives for more than a year. He reports no problems with weight gain or acne, two side effects that occurred in earlier versions of MHCs tested in the 1990s.

Brown, who is married and has three children, hopes his kids will one day be able to benefit from the new technology. His would like his son, who is now 17, to one day have the option of taking a male birth control pill. Brown believes many men will see “their pill” as a good idea and will want to use it.
“It is time for men to have some control. I think it would empower men and deter some women out there from their nefarious plans,” says Brown. “Some women are out there to use men to get pregnant. This could deter women from doing this. An athlete or a singer is someone who could be a target and they could put a stop to that.”
Studies conducted by the World Health Organization show that men from many countries around the world would welcome MHCs. The WHO has tested MHCs in hundreds of volunteers in various countries around the world and have not found it difficult to recruit volunteers for their studies. Researchers say many men are very willing to become involved in the studies and are anxious to see a male birth control pill on the market.

Over the past 5 years, researchers around the world have had a great deal of success with male contraceptive pills , patches, implants and creams that deliver various amounts of hormones. It is now believed that an MHC in the form of a daily pill could be available on the market within 5 to 7 years and implants could arrive even sooner.
“An injectible or an implant (similar to Norplant for women) will be the first to be approved. The big studies are now under way,” says Dr. Christina Wang, who is heading up the clinical trials of MHCs at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
She and her colleagues have found that a combination of progestin and androgen implants are safe, effective, inexpensive and entirely reversible.
The California researchers have tested several different products in hundreds of men and are also collaborating with investigators in China. A Chinese clinical trial is now under way at 10 different sites across China and includes 1,000 men. The Phase III trial involves a single injection given once every month. Wang hopes to start a similar trial in the United States within the next 2 years.

“We are trying to find the best combination with the least amount of side effects and then the least amount of medication that may be required to get the maximum effects,” says Wang.
Wang adds that in some countries, a low-cost, reversible and long-acting form of an MHC could become commercially available within the next 3 years. However, she says it will probably be at least 5 years before one is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Interestingly, Wang says there is now greater interest in this technology than there ever was in the past and there is now more funding available worldwide than ever before.
But will men take it? Some say yes, some say only if their partners make them, and other say they would never even consider it.



Active member
Wow, great article! Glad to hear that actually. Think I'll wait for it to be tested a little while though before I dive in.



Yeah, I want to make sure it doesn't cause your balls to shrivel up and your pecs turn into boobs. I also worry about STDs being spread because guys dont wear condoms because of pills . While I know that to be a stupid practice, I can't say that I have never hit it raw or that I won't do it again. Brings a little pause, but I can definitely seeing this being the norm in 20 years.


I have personally been looking forward to this for a long time - although I'm not currently single so I suppose I wouldn't really be able to take full advantage, but the ideas has nonetheless always appealed to me.

The STD question is a factor, but let's be honest - most people are fucking unprotected at one time or another in casual circumstances anway, so this really won't change the dynamic too much. Plus, as many already know, condoms aren't a 100% effective barrier in the first place when it comes to most STDs. Caution will still be important, but I don't really see this causing a huge spike in STD infection rates or making casual sex any more risky than it is already.

So far as the possible side effects, I really wouldn't worry about that. Drug companies are already terrified that after all their R&D expenditure that men still won't be that interested in the product, so you had better believe that they'll never release a pill with anything but the most marginal side effects. Simple economics will insure that any annoying strings with product will be taken care of long before it reaches the market.

In addition, I'm close friends with an OB/GYN and related to another by marriage who I see socially all the time, and they both claim that the supposed hormonal side effects of female birth control only really impact a small minoirty of women, and that most women greatly exaggerate the effects of birth control. The reportage of adverse effects by patients hugely outpaces the expected projections from clinical trials, which generally means that women are often just whining and scapegoating vai their birth control. I tend to believe these guys as they have a lot of empathy and respect for their female patients, but they both independently told me the same thing about side effects and birth control.

All that aside, I really like the idea of having the security of knowing that I can't make a serious mistake and be forced to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. Thankfully I've never been stuck in that situation, but the fear of ending up there has caused me to pass up at least a few potentially awesome encounters and there's also been the occasional baby scare over the years that I could easily have done without.
Last edited:

Members online

No members online now.