Thursday, February 09, 2006

So, Where *Is* That Male Pill?

Administration of testosterone to men markedly reduces sperm counts and is a very efficient and well tolerated method of contraception. Combinations with progestogens or with gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists are even more effective and suggest that hormonal contraception in men is feasible and may be as effective as the currently used methods.

5 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

This sounds great, but "dramatically reduces sperm counts" won't stop me from taking my pill.

I'm a biology major, and we've learned a bit about this. The sheer number of sperm cells makes it difficult to control, but also controlling some of the male hormones associated with sperm production can cause really huge side effects.

Not to say that it wouldn't be nice if they can get something to work, but I'm not necessarily sure that getting a male pill is a feminist issue. It's a matter of men and women being different, and the fact that it is easier and more cost-effective to have female contraceptives. 

Posted by Christy

Anonymous said...

I would also worry about the side effects but if they were found to be negligable, I would take it. Sexual reponsiblity is so important these days. Given that the only other long term solution a man can take is a visectamy, I would greatly prefer this.

Brendan said...

I'd really love to see a longer version of that article. My gut instinct is to say that adding more testosterone to men is probably a very risky idea. If we're talking low doses in specific delivery systems with a ton of backing research for safety, ok, maybe- but the risk of abuse and side effects is a big hill to climb, as anyone who's followed pro sports in recent years can tell you.

I'd rather see more advances towards non-hormonal methods for both sexes; if you can avoid mucking around with someone's biochemistry, it's probably better to do so. Same thing as goes for psychopharmacology vs. talk therapy on the mental health side, really.

Not of which ignores the assumptions that men are too stupid to take a pill, or that contraception is still a woman's responsibility, or that reduced sperm count means reduced masculinity, etc., of course.

Rex said...

Err, I'd rather not muck around with men's biochemistry either, brendan. There's countless studies that show that increased doses of testosterone in men and estrogen in women lead to significant problems in the short term and long term.

And as Christy said, there's more to making sperm than simply having testosterone around. Oh, and a common side-effect is shrinking testicles as the body produces less T because of the external source.

Not too many guys would be happy with that.

sparticuss said...

What %^&*( male pill.
Know what the definition of a real man is in the modern age? A real man is the guy who rides his Harley home after his vasectomy.
Know what the ONLY side effect is after a vasectomy? It's increased horniness cause now you don't get stuck with child suport payments for the next twenty years.