A new form of contraception for men may be on the way following a trial which has concluded with an almost 96% success rate.
The year long trial was conducted on 350 men where couples initially used other birth control methods before solely relying on the injections.
This contraceptive works by significantly lowering the sperm counts by using ‘progestogen’, a hormone which blocks sperm production controlled by the pituitary gland.
The results concluded that only 4 women conceived throughout the trial.
In 274 of the men taking part, the injection reduced sperm count to one million per millilitre or fewer in just 24 weeks.
A normal sperm count is between 40 to 300 million.
However although proven to be extremely effective compared to other forms of male contraception, scientists say more work is needed to tackle the side effects.
These include depression, acne, and increased libido and some were that bad that 20 men dropped out of the trial all together.
In fact, researchers stopped enrolling new participants into the study due to the rate of side effects reported, with 1,491 incidents reported including 1 suicide.
However, after the trial had finished, around three-quarters of men said they would be keen to continue with the injections.
Dr Mario Festin, from the World Health Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland says “Although the injections were effective in reducing the rate of pregnancy, the combination of hormones needs to be studied more to consider a good balance between efficacy and safety”.
More work needs to be done to reduce the side effect before this form of contraception can be launched.
Whatever type of medication you take, there is always the risk of side effects, especially with contraception. However, it’s great to see men willing to undergo treatment and not leaving it to the women 🙂
Let us know your thoughts …it seems fair that once approved, men should have an equal responsibility in a relationship to take this form of birth control.
Source: ITV News