Male Birth Control Shot Scrapped After Guys Whinge Like Big Babies


Apparently men couldn’t hack the same side effects women have been putting up with for years.

A promising new form of birth control is no longer being studied because researchers were worried it caused too many unpleasant side effects in some of the men who took it.

The study, which was initiated in 2008 and stopped in 2012, looked at the efficacy and safety of a contraceptive injection for men. Results were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism last week.

The shot, which was found to be highly effective, worked by tricking men’s brains into shutting down the production of testosterone, thereby stopping the production of sperm. It consisted of 1,000 milligrams of synthetic testosterone and 200 milligrams of progestin. Progestin is also used in oral and injectable female birth control methods.

During the study, which followed 320 men ages 18 to 45, participants reported 1,491 ‘adverse events,’ including soreness at the injection site, muscle pain, increased sex drive, acne, depression and other mood disorders. Although researchers estimated that 39 per cent of these symptoms were not caused by the shots, twenty men dropped out of the study early due to side effects. The study was ultimately halted because of concerns over these side effects.

Most women are probably already familiar with the side effects of hormonal birth control. A recent study found a strong link between depression and female hormonal contraceptives – confirming what many women have been experiencing for years. Other side effects of hormonal birth control for women include acne, weight gain, mood swings, and an increased risk of breast cancer.

Regarding the risks and side effects of hormonal birth control for men, Kinsey Institute faculty scholar and biology professor Elisabeth Lloyd said, “These risks…are not fatal risks like the women endure with their birth control. You have to compare what women are doing in terms of taking hormones with what men are doing in terms of taking hormones. Are they taking their life in their hands when they take the hormones? Women are.”

Let it be noted: despite any side effects they experienced with the birth control shot, 75 per cent of men who completed the study said they would still be willing to use it as a method of contraception.

Image via Shutterstock.

Comment: Do you think hormonal birth control for men should continue to be studied?