Male Birth Control Pill Actually Working

There’s a male version of the birth control pill being developed, and it just got another step closer to gaining FDA approval.

By nowproducerdave on March 20, 2018
(Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

There’s been a male birth control pill in the testing phase for a while now, and so far, it’s proven to not only be effective, but is also very safe – as in not causing any weird medical effects. Well, besides lowered sperm count, but that was the goal. Other than that – well, and a little weight gain – everything is a-ok.

The male birth control pill is similar to the one ladies have been taking for years, though it does contain a couple different chemicals. It’s taken once daily, just the same, and its official name is “dimethandrolone undecanoate,” or “DMAU” for short. It has several different hormones mixed together, like testosterone and progestin. It’s literally “the pill” for guys. It works by lowering the guys’ sperm counts to a low enough level that “a man cannot get his partner pregnant.” It doesn’t sound like it shuts off production all together, so there’s still a slight risk of pregnancy, we’re guessing, but isn’t there still risk with the female pill too?

During the testing phase, men were given the pills for a once daily dose. Some men in the group were given a placebo pill. Guys who took the highest dose of the pill were discovered to have a much lower amount of “sperm producing” hormones than guys who were on the placebo. The lead researcher says that those results “are consistent with effective male contraception shown in longer-term studies.” Though some other results noted were a slight decrease in “good” cholesterol, and some of the guys gained a little weight. But overall, other tests were clean, including kidney function. There were also no reports of anything associated with “lowered testosterone” levels in the body.

See also: Why animals at a zoo have been placed on birth control.

Longer-term research is in the works, and hopefully soon they’ll be able to develop a version that can be distributed in addition to the current options of injections or “topical gels,” however those work. Ahem. Is male birth control something you’d consider in your relationship, or are there other reasons as to why you’re on the pill, if you are? Would your guy be ok with taking a pill every day? Would he keep up with it? Check out more info on the study and the male birth control pill here.

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