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Will we ever have effective male contraception?

So – women have babies. Those babies happen because of heterosexual sex. That means it takes both a man and a woman to have a child. These are facts known by most people by the time they hit the double digits. So why is there still such an imbalance within the world of contraception?

A recent study into a new form of male contraception has been halted due to six percent of the men involved experiencing negative side effects. These included acne, depression, and increased libido. Out of 320 volunteers, only 20 dropped out due to these issues.

Let’s compare this against the female equivalence to this procedure, the pill. As reported earlier this year, the pill increases risk of depression twofold in women. The pill is also required to be taken daily in order to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

The pill has seen an increased amount of scrutiny over the years. Source

Consider the hypocrisy here: that a safer, less invasive (the new method requires a single injection every two months) is being discontinued despite the rising issues present in female contraception. They both have an almost equal rate of efficacy (96% for men v. 99% for women) which could also prove better with further testing. 3 in 4 of the men involved in the test were willing to continue the treatment beyond the test.

Sure, harm minimization is important, but to completely shut down a study of this magnitude and importance borders on negligence. Considering the only options for men at the moment is the condom, which is both less effective and also less desired, it’s important for studies like this to open up greater options for men in order to take some of the burden of women.

I speak from experience when I say I know plenty of people who would prefer this method by far, myself included. It’s time for a greater balance when it comes to safe sex and that can only be achieved through studies such as these. For too long it has been almost entirely the sole responsibility for women in the equation which just doesn’t add up.