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article imageBirth Control Pills For Men, Is It About Time?

By M Dee Dubroff     Apr 4, 2009 in Health
It may soon be a reality that the issue of birth control will fall into the hands of the male part of the equation. But is it a good thing and what does it really mean in terms of male-female relationships? Read on for a little light on the subject.
According to news sources, a reliable, effective and reversible hormonal male contraceptive is on the horizon. Not only that, implants, patches and creams are also well on their way both into use. Men may soon assume the role that has been delegated to women ever since the two sexes discovered each other. Options will include 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. (That old song, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” now means something quite different than Cole Porter originally intended.)
Forty-year-old Scott Hardin, a bachelor college administrator, had this to say about this significant event:
“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.”
Dr. Andrea Coviello, who along with her colleagues is helping to test several male contraceptives in Seattle at the Population Center for Research in Reproduction at the University of Washington has discovered that a male contraceptive that releases testosterone over three months is potentially a safe and practical method of contraception. Researchers are currently testing a testosterone microcapsule, which consists of a thick liquid administered by injection under the skin. In her words:
“It largely depends on how funding continues. The technology is there. We know how it would work.”
Research on this subject is not limited to Seattle, Washington. In the last five years, research has successfully flourished with male contraceptive pills, patches, implants and creams that deliver various amounts of hormones in California and in China. So much progress has been made that is expected that a daily pill could be on the market within 5 to 7 years and implants even sooner.
Dr. Christina Wang, head of clinical trials at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center is thrilled that her team of colleagues have discovered that a combination of progestin and androgen implants are safe, effective and entirely reversible.
She said:
“An injectible or an implant (similar to Norplant for women) will be the first to be approved. The big studies are now under way. 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.”
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.
Will men be receptive to this idea?
Perhaps only time will tell, but it does appear that the tide has definitely turned and who knows what shall wash ashore?
How do YOU feel about his?
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