Men on contraception.

While we’re some years away from actually have male contraception on the market, it’s exciting to see some coming to reassuring conclusions concerning its testing.
Over 1,500 men have taken part in tests for male hormonal contraception, and on average, it took only about 3-4 months for men to gain their fertility back.
Dr. Peter Liu from the Los Angeles Research Biomedical Institute has looked at 30 studies on male hormonal contraception, and came to the conclusion that the two forms that have been tested, an implant and an injection, are both safe and effective.

“Our data provide strong assurance that the previously described efficacy of hormonal male contraceptives is coupled with highly predictable recovery to sperm characteristics that are compatible with fertility.
These findings thereby increase the promise of new contraceptive drugs allowing men to share more fairly the satisfaction and burden of family planning.

Good shit.

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32 Comments

  1. noname
    Posted April 28, 2006 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I love the idea of male hormonal contraception. The injection / implant choice does not sound like a recipe for success, however.

  2. Posted April 28, 2006 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    I’d say that depends a great deal on where they plan on putting the implant/injection!
    Cheers,
    TH

  3. Zaij
    Posted April 28, 2006 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I don’t find myself ever likely to use these. I have a horrendous fear of injections and frankly, the implant idea sounds nasty. I would do it in the form of a pill, however.

  4. hujo
    Posted April 28, 2006 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    As long as I don’t grow breasts or lose sex drive.
    Hell yeah! All for it!
    Not that I would use it personaly for a good ten years or so of it being on the market, ya never know…
    Viagra can lead to blindness.
    And the morning sickness pill Thalidomide was a tragedy.

  5. Simon Phoenix
    Posted April 28, 2006 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Simon Says:
    What’s the most effective birth control device for men?
    ~Seeing a feminist naked.

  6. puck
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    hi, mra…
    anyways, i find it interesting that a male contraceptive prompts the response of “What’s the most effective birth control device for men?
    ~Seeing a feminist naked.”
    i mean, really… do you guys actually want feministing to cover issues relating to men’s reproductive freedom or would you rather discourage them from covering any such things so you can rail on them for being “man-haters”?
    personally, i would definitely check this out… i would much rather wait and provide a more stable environment to raise a child in than to have one now… and i am definitely not down to get surgery that may lead to me never being able to be a father.
    peace and blessings
    ps. thanks, vanessa, for keeping the info flowing

  7. chem fem
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    You want see some responses from the ‘real’ public on this then the bbc have your say website is interesting….
    Like most of the gender related boards on there I have to come to the conclusion that there are a lot of ‘women haters’ around too…

  8. chem fem
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    You want see some responses from the ‘real’ public on this then the bbc have your say website is interesting….
    Like most of the gender related boards on there I have to come to the conclusion that there are a lot of ‘women haters’ around too…

  9. chem fem
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    You want see some responses from the ‘real’ public on this then the bbc have your say website is interesting….
    http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?threadID=1624&&edition=1&ttl=20060429124111
    Like most of the gender related boards on there I have to come to the conclusion that there are a lot of ‘women haters’ around too…

  10. chem fem
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    You want see some responses from the ‘real’ public on this then the bbc have your say website is interesting….
    http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?threadID=1624&&edition=1&ttl=20060429124111
    Like most of the gender related boards on there I have to come to the conclusion that there are a lot of ‘women haters’ around too…

  11. nik
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Wow – the BBC board is really worth reading. Looks like lots of guys really resent being unable to control their own fertility (quotes below).
    This is a bit of a gender issue too. Women do tend to want kids more than men, want more kids than men, and want them earlier in their lives. Giving men better contracteptive options will have a real social impact when it happens.
    “I’d love to, if nothing else to protect myself against any possibility of being misinformed about what kind of contraception a partner was using.”
    “Much as I dislike the idea of messing around with my hormones, I personally would take this contraceptive in a heartbeat. Women are far too emotionally and biologically attached to the idea of childbirth to make informed decisions on contraception.”
    “A lot of unhappy women now I presume? No more babies (unwanted by men) in exchange for free housing, benefits, tax-relief and exuses for not working!”

  12. Simon Phoenix
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    ALLRIGHT, CHEM FEM, we’ll go to the BBC site!! You don’t have to ask us six times!
    In the meantime, Simon says:
    Behind every great man is a great woman. What’s behind every great
    feminist?
    ~Several people whose light is being blocked.

  13. chem fem
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Sorry about the multiple posting, the page wouldn’t load when I pressed the post button.
    Hilarious Simon, don’t give up the day job…

  14. Posted April 29, 2006 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    If I were concerned that my girlfriend was lying or maybe just not very responsible about taking her birth control pill, I’d use a condom. As a woman, I’ve been on birth control pills since I became sexually active, even when condoms were a big part of my sex life. The duplicitious sperm-snatcher that so many men are afraid of seems like a pretty easy thing to guard against to me. The thing people seem to need better technology for is finding partners they’re compatible with. Why would you marry someone who wanted kids if you didn’t, or would fake taking birth control?

  15. shmana
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Oh. My. God. I haven’t got the time to check out the BBC thing unfortunately, but my jaw is refusing to return to its proper shut position after hearing that my emotions/biology are driving me to reproduce to the extent that I’m irrational. I’m sorry, but half my law-school classmates are women and our lives are pretty much driven by rationality and informed-decision making. Much more so than that of the average American, or British, male. We can’t afford to be “emotionally attached” to ANY idea — we’d fail out of school.
    And besides, while I don’t know the statistics, I’d imagine that the odds of a guy meeting and having sex with a woman who is determined to rope him into fatherhood without his knowledge are relatively low. Although the stakes of supporting a child for 18 years are huge, the probability that it would happen is probably low enough that such paranoia on the part of those men quoted above is driven by stereotypes and thus “emotions” in itself.
    (Of course that is by NO means to say that men who would take b.c. are just being paranoid, any more than a woman carrying mace is paranoid… just that the idea of all women being baby-hungry sperm fiends is even more irrational than the occasional baby-hungry sperm fiends that do exist.)

  16. hujo
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    C’mom I don’t think Simone is an mra or a humanist, he is a feminist hating man, thats all he seems to be.

  17. Simon Phoenix
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Simon says:
    Shmana: I believe you; a baby doesn’t fit into a law school student’s plans and is the furthest thing from your mind. Right now. But if you find yourself 36 and childless, you may find that BABY FEVER turns you into an irrational fiend with one thing on her mind: BABY…NOW!!! I’ve seen it happen. Perhaps you have too.

  18. Durga_is_my_homey
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    But if you find yourself 36 and childless, you may find that BABY FEVER turns you into an irrational fiend with one thing on her mind: BABY…NOW!!! I’ve seen it happen. Perhaps you have too.
    Wow, sounds like a 1950s instruction manuel introduction.
    Reminds me of somebody who told me that by 18 I’d want to get married. I’ll be 22 in July. Should have put money on that …

  19. nik
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Sara;
    “If I were concerned that my girlfriend was lying or maybe just not very responsible about taking her birth control pill, I’d use a condom.”
    My answer is, Yeah but… men really don’t have very good contraception options:
    Option (1) is a vasectomy, which works very well, but is a no-no if you ever want kids. (And I can see how the surgery would put some people off).
    Option (2) is as you say condoms. There are various reasons why people don’t like them, but just looked at as a means of avoiding pregnancy they’re not very good. Failure estimates range from 3%-10% a year. Say if you don’t want kids for ten years, the chance of being successful is 0.97 to the power of 10. Those are not good odds.
    I know it boils over into misogyny, but it really does seem lots of guys don’t want kids, don’t have access to reliable contaception they can control, and this bugs them. A bit like the situation women were in 30 years ago. The fears about being trapped into unwanted fatherhood are genuine, even if a little dubious. The sooner this is on the market the better.

  20. Ahlana
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    This is kinda funny cuz if you ask women how many kids they want they’ll say X. And when you look at how many kids they will actually have, it’s X-1 (it depends on the country how high X is…) So women are having fewer kids than they want…
    And if guys are really worried about women having kids, they should give them an education….
    A woman with a PhD has the least amount of kids (around 1 on average) and a woman without a high school diploma will have the most (over 3 on average).
    And to illustrate… 60% of my entering Master’s cohort females wanted 0 (zero, zip, zilch, nada) children. Most the ppl I know from high school who didn’t go to college are married and having kids by age 20.
    To get back to the original post… I like the idea of men having the option because there are many women who can’t take hormonal BC for a variety of reasons (My sister gets migraines when she takes it and hates that her and her husband have to rely on condoms)

  21. KnightOfNi
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    To my mind, it’s all about levelling the playing field a bit more. Having more options open to both parties is an inherent good thing. One may believe or disbelieve in the concept of unwanted fatherhood, or in the deep societal impact that these increased options may bring; I emphasize may bring as there is no way to predict the outcome of such a thing…but at the end of the day, it all comes down to the choices we make and the options available. I am all for having every available option open to anybody to determine their own destinies with regards to kids.

  22. Alex
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I think this is good because it allows both parties to use oral contraceptives similtaniously thus lowering the rate of accidents

  23. Boogieman
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Ahlana,
    It’s not that men are worried about women having kids, it’s that men are worried about a woman having their kids, and then using the court system to extort a lifetime annuity from them.
    As for “giving” women an education in order to reduce their maternal drive, that is about the most assinine idea I’ve heard on this subject. Let’s see, instead of risking impregnating a woman and having to pay child support, alimony, etc, I will just pay for her doctorate. Yeah, that makes a whole lot of financial sense. On the other hand, once I pay for a woman’s education, she will likely disappear from my life quickly, while an ex-wife/baby’s momma can haunt me for years to come. Maybe it’s not such a bad trade off after all!

  24. Ahlana
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Boogieman-
    I wasn’t suggesting that you /personally/ pay for a woman’s education. But if you look at Italy, Sweden, France, Netherlands, Norway, etc etc you’ll find that places in which higher education is highly subsidized that woman get more education and then have fewer children. So support government support of education. Or just date women that already /have/ their Phd or JD or MD or whatever.
    My nephew’s father failed to pay child support for the last 10 years… He has accrued something like $28,000 in child-support debt to my sister. Assholes like him are not uncommon and he had the chance (my sister offered it to him) to remove his legal rights as the father, but he refused. The court system is slow to handle cases like this one, and reluctant to “put a father” in jail. So he gets to keep not paying and my sister/nephew get screwed. Something tells me that cases like this one are more common than women going “baby crazed” and intentionally getting pregnant etc. Ask around to the women you know and see how many of them are in love with the idea of being a single parent… I believe you’ll find that the prospect of raising a child in a one parent home is daunting at the least and down right scary to a majority of women. But it does make me think of a wonderful piece of advice I saw on a bumper sticker: Don’t have sex with Pro-Lifers.

  25. Simon
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    “But if you find yourself 36 and childless, you may find that BABY FEVER turns you into an irrational fiend with one thing on her mind: BABY…NOW!!! I’ve seen it happen. Perhaps you have too.”
    Durga said: “Wow, sounds like a 1950s instruction manuel introduction.”
    LOL Durga! What’s great about your post is, you lose this argument either way! The fact is, this is a reality that confronts MILLIONS of women – I’m a bit older than you and I can recollect more than one first date where a 35+ female announced – ON A FIRST DATE! “I’m ready to have a family”. The reality is as I’ve described it to you. But the beautiful part about you being your usual contrary self, is that if you persist in taking that tact – in asserting it’s not an issue – you’ve just minimized, you’ve just diminished, a real pain that confronts millions of women every day in America! Do I care if you dimish women? Nah. But other women might! Talk to your 30 or 40 something friends, if you have any. See how “1950′s” this reality is. Then ask why the fertility clinics are doing a bang-up business nowadays. Or see the movie “Baby Fever”; it usually shows on Lifetime or some other silly channel. But if you want to pretend women’s longings aren’t relevant and should be ignored…I’ll go along with that!

  26. shmana
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Um… I *think*, but I’m sure I’m wrong b/c of whatever point I’m at in my hormonal cycle, that there’s a difference between “longings” and “irrationality.” Ex: I long for a world without ppl like dear Simon, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to go insane and bomb people. Also, the simple fact that a woman admitted to you on the first date that she wants children (and so what if she did say it up front? saves you both a lot of time and hassle) does not indicate that she is nothing more than a big talking uterus eager to bite the heads off men and suck out their sperm. Quite the opposite — these women are approaching the issue *very* rationally.
    So, if someday I do end up wanting kids, there is NOTHING to say that I will stop taking the pill and poke holes in condoms in order to snag my unfortunate one-night stand into two decades of child support. Which is what that jackass Brit that nik quoted was implying, and what I was addressing, and which dear Simon seemed to fail to comprehend.

  27. Boogieman
    Posted May 1, 2006 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Ahlana,
    First of all, if you are speaking of government-subsidized, sexually discriminatory higher education, who do you think is paying for it? A magical genie who lives in the land of money trees? No, I would be paying for it along with every other taxpayer. Remember that in the socialist paradises you mentioned, income taxes are often 10-15% higher for the average taxpayer. So, sorry to spoil your pipe dream, but I don’t think I’ll be supporting that entitlement albatross anytime soon.
    Also, maybe getting a PhD would make a man more likely not to want children as well. Are you going to support paying for my doctorate with your tax money just so I am less likely to procreate? Or would you rather I accepted personal responsibility and shouldered my own reproductive burdens?
    Unfortunately for most men, dating a woman with a higher degree is not an available alternative as a contraceptive measure. You see, most women with that level of education tend to have a higher income, and for all the talk from females lately about breaking societal convention, women still almost invariably date and marry “up” (practice hypergamy). Therefore, for men around the average income level, dating a woman with a post-graduate degree is probably not a option.
    As for the deadbeat dad argument, you are mistaken. “Assholes like him” are uncommon. Most fathers do pay their child support, in fact, according to the latest census figures, 68% of men pay all their child support obligations, while only 57% of women pay their child support obligations. Why aren’t you complaining about “deadbeat moms” causing an undue burden on single fathers? Also, why shouldn’t courts be reluctant to jail a man for being untimely with child support remittance? Firstly, many men surely have good reasons for their defaults. Perhaps they can’t afford to pay? Also, consider that since 1833, “Debtor’s prisons” (with the exception of cases of fraud) were eliminated by the federal government as a barbaric and uncivilized practice and an afront to human rights. Most states quickly followed the government’s lead. Nowadays, the courts have taken a step backwards, and one not likely to be any more successful than the previous attempt. How much more likely, do you think, is a father in jail going to be able to support his family, than if he was on the outside? What is the going rate of pay for an inmate nowadays, 50 cents an hour?

  28. pamps
    Posted May 2, 2006 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    The science behind male contraception is well researched. The primary thing holding this back is that the FDA hates any sort of AAS. They see this as a backdoor for descheduling Testosterone, which they don’t want to do. Especially with all this baseball Barry Bonds etc. rubbish going on.
    The reason male contraception isn’t available is primarily political. The debates over male hormones make the ephedra debates look reasonable, and lord knows they weren’t.
    The reality is that in the congressional hearings prior to the passage of legislation that put these hormones into the federal schedule, BOTH the AMA and the DEA testified against it.
    which is amazing in and of itself
    Now, society has spent so long demonizing male (so called -since both males and female have testosterone, men just have more) hormones, that it is the boy who cried wolf if they turn around and admit they can be used safely and responsibly
    They are certainly no more dangerous than oral versions of estradiol (birth control pills).

  29. pamps
    Posted May 2, 2006 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    to clarify that last post. Both the AMA and the DEA testified that AAS should remain UNSCHEDULED and it was the “save the children” hysteria that overruled logic and resulted in their scheduling

  30. Ahlana
    Posted May 3, 2006 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Oh, Boogieman… the fact that your retorts are snide doesn’t make them correct.
    I do, in fact support government subsidized higher education… Maybe it’s because I graduated 2nd in my class and scored a 35 on the ACT and a 1550 on the SAT but wouldn’t have been able to afford college without scholarships. Maybe it’s because I know there are hundreds of other people out there (men and women) from the lower income brackets (and a growing number in the middle income bracket) that can’t afford higher education. Maybe it’s because in the last 20 years financial aid for college has shifted from mostly government grants to loans. Maybe it’s because I think that is a shift in the wrong direction. Maybe it’s because I don’t mind paying more taxes if I know that they are going to help other people from families like mine… and instead of getting the money for it from “A magical genie who lives in the land of money trees” I can think of dozens of ways in which the government gives money to the wealthy or to multi-billion dollar corporations that I believe would be better spent on education. Maybe you shouldn’t condescend to someone before you hear what they have to say.
    And to answer your other snarky questions; yes, I would be for supporting you getting your PhD… if you could find a program that would take you. And your whole theory on women marrying up? Doesn’t matter. Look up the stats for women vs men’s earning potential based on their level of education. A woman with a PhD can still marry a man with a bachelor’s degree and often times is still “marrying up”. And men with average income levels and men with a bachelor’s degree are not the same thing. Most men in this country /don’t/ have a 4 year degree… partly because college is so darn expensive!
    68% of men may pay their child-support. That doesn’t negate the fact that “assholes like him” are not uncommon. 32% of something is almost 1 in 3. That isn’t uncommon. It’s less common than the ones that do, but it is a far cry from being rare. I don’t complain about dead-beat mom’s because I DON’T KNOW ANY. I used my sister’s case as an illustration of a point, not the be-all-end-all of my position. Dead-beat anybodies are assholes. In my example, the father gave $0 in child-support over 10 years after he was given a choice of giving up custody. My sister stood to lose nothing by him going to jail because she wasn’t getting anything. And perhaps jail would have made him realize that he wasn’t above the system… And the entire point of that example was to say that guys like that are MORE common than “baby crazed” women who get pregnant by poking holes in condoms or lying about birth control. I am specifically pointing to the outliers of both the male and female populations. The point that not all men fail to pay child-support doesn’t impact my arguement that there are more deadbeat dad’s than baby crazied women.
    And I’ll ask again… go to your female friends. Ask them how much they would want to be a single parent.

  31. james
    Posted May 3, 2006 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Just look at this from a guys point of view you can why they have such an issue about it.
    You’ve mutually agreed you don’t want a child and on using some form of contraception. Then your girlfriend gets pregnant, has the child, keeps it, and is delighted with it. Meanwhile, this isn’t what you wanted to happen, and your life has just been ruined. Now it’s just natural that you are going to suspect that you’ve been used as a sap and lied to – even it that’s not what happened. And you’re never going to really know, so it’s just going to bug you forever.
    It’s a bit like if your boyfriend was telling he was regularly sending e-mails to his boss trying to get out of a business trip to Amsterdam. Then he goes on the trip, and when he gets back he’s raving about how much he enjoyed it, how cute the red lights were, and how he’s thinking about how you should plan another trip together in a couple of years. You’re going to think he was leading you on, and he didn’t want to get out of it at all.
    That’s why this contraceptive is such a great idea.

  32. Merideth Carleton
    Posted May 24, 2006 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Have you seen this before? It’s a number guessing game: http://www.amblesideprimary.com/ambleweb/mentalmaths/guessthenumber.html. I guessed 14573, and it got it right! Pretty neat.

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