While “the pill” has been around for women since the 60s, your effective options for birth control have been limited to using condoms, getting a vasectomy, and watching The Bachelor. The good news is that a study co-sponsored by the United Nations (who are also fertile as hell) found male contraceptive injections to be 96 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. The bad news is that the research was wrapped up earlier than planned because too many men were getting caught in glass cases of emotions.
The study, published Thursday in the Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, tested the safety and effectiveness of a birth control shot in 320 healthy men ages 18 to 45. The men, who tested as having healthy sperm production prior to the trial, were injected every 8 weeks with synthetic testosterone and a small synthetic “progestin.” The way it works is that the added testosterone signals to the brain that there’s plenty, their body stops producing it, along with the subsequent swimmers. And in that regard, it totally worked the way it was supposed to. Sperm production stopped at the right time, and then returned to healthy levels when they were supposed to. The problem was that it made a few men a bit moody — a complaint that might sound familiar from your partner cursing their birth control.
“Twenty percent or 30 percent of the women who take oral birth control pills experience depression and have to take medication for it. So the difference just struck me,” Elizabeth Lloyd, a faculty scholar at the Kinsey Institute told CNN. “They terminated this study once it showed 3 percent depression for the men.” Prior to the study’s conclusion, only 20 men had dropped out due to side effects which included mood swings, depression, muscle pain, acne, and increased libido. The latter perhaps explains why 75 percent of participants reported that they’d be willing to try the contraceptive method again if it was available.
Despite the experiment’s premature finish (pun intended), the fact that 3 quarters of the men would’ve subjected themselves to it again bodes well for at least the demand side of male birth control. As much as it can cause mood swings in some, not all side effects were negative. Plus in the past testosterone has been found to improve mood, mental cognition, and energy levels … maybe because they don’t have more kids than they can handle.