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The burden of contraception or pregnancy prevention has been on the shoulders of female partners for years. Men have not been able to do much because of the limited options available to them. In most countries, the use of condoms as a barrier method of contraception and vasectomy (a minimally invasive procedure) are broadly the only two methods available to men. While the idea of male contraceptives seems to be new, it has been in the play for a long time. Interestingly, research done on potential contraception methods in males has either seen no conclusive end or is still in the process of being clinically approved.
Reportedly, many side effects considered unacceptable in trials of male contraceptive pills are similar to what women might have been dealing with for years. Interestingly, there are many recent studies and inventions in the area of male contraception but social acceptance is still what many scientists might be looking out for.
The two contraception options generally available to men are the use of a condom or going for a vasectomy. While the former is a reversible method of contraception, some men do not preferably choose it due to the unavailability of the right size, discomfort, hindrance in pleasure and other social and cultural reasons. The latter on the other hand is a minimally invasive procedure that might be looked upon as inconvenient by some men. This indicates that there is a dire need for male contraceptive options that can be more easily administered such as combined pills used by women.
Interestingly, scientists are getting closer to creating a male contraceptive pill that is safe, effective and might not affect fertility in the long run. The popular idea is to make a hormonal contraceptive pill that could stop the testicles from making testosterone, a hormone responsible for sperm production and maturation.
The testosterone pill might work in a way that the brain senses that there is enough testosterone in the body and as a result, the testicles might stop producing it. As per some quoted experts, a problem with this kind of pill is that it gets broken down in the body very quickly and the person might have to consume more than one pill.
Another study is looking at the compound dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU), which can also block the production of testosterone in the testicles. As per reports, DMAU stays in the body for at least 24 hours, making it similar to the daily female pill.
There is also a hormonal gel in the discussion that can be applied to the shoulders of a man and delivers testosterone into the bloodstream, blocking the testicles to produce it.
Men participating in these clinical trials have been reporting some side effects associated with these hormonal pills. They have been found to cause changes in mood, cause depressive symptoms, bring changes in libido, and cause skin problems like acne, and weight gain. Similar side effects have been noted with the contraceptive pills taken by women with a recent study suggesting that all kinds of hormonal pills can minimally increase the risk of breast cancer development in women. As per quoted experts, there might always be some side effects to hormonal pills. The fate of male contraceptive pills still hangs in the air due to these reported side effects. However, the fact raises curiosity that many of these side effects are already being endured by women who have been depending on these pills for years.
As per reports, several male pills have been rejected on the grounds that they lead to symptoms that are extremely common among women taking female versions of the pill. This raises the question of whether the challenges are more cultural than scientific.
As per quoted experts, while many health policies might hinder the coming of male contraceptive pills into the market or might nip the bud in the experimental stages but if the same pills consumed by women were to be evaluated today, they would also fail to hit the safety bar with the side effects associated with them such as mood swings, depression, increased breast cancer risk, and blood clots.
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