Lots of controversies have accumulated on the topic of male birth control, and things have been going like this for quite a while now. A few years ago large pharmaceutical companies like Schering, Organon or Wyeth announced the production of hormonal birth control designed especially for men, but the results of their research hasn’t been finalized yet. Why? The market seems to be little receptive to male birth control shots or pills, and the investments in technologies are huge. Several programs have been abandoned for this reason, and it seems that drug companies don’t show any renewal in their interest for this kind of birth control products.
Some men are willing to try other forms of birth control. Normally, male birth control is administered as an injection with testosterone that would prevent the production of sperm. A certain prejudice has been recognized with women because many are reluctant to trust men to follow such treatments. At present, vasectomy is the only viable male birth control solution besides the condom. How is hormonal birth control supposed to work for men?
The sperm production can be inhibited by the administration of testosterone and progestin; this male birth control solution would be totally reversible with no impact on fertility. This is not possible with a pill because the testosterone would be too quickly broken down by the liver. Hormonal male birth control may be produced either as a monthly shot or as a topical product. One third option is that of twice-a-year implants and although the procedures are invasive, they could be an alternative to women’s pill.
Between 10% and 15% of men have a low reaction to hormonal male birth control, which is quite a high rate of non-response. Too many cells have to be blocked which certainly raises an issue. While with female hormonal treatments, the egg is the only cell that has to be blocked from ovulation, with male birth control, the treatment has to solve the issue of millions of spermatozoon. Race also seems to affect the efficiency of this birth control method although researchers don’t know why.
Last but not least, we should also briefly refer to condoms as the most commonly used form of male birth control. Couples successfully use condoms, and so do people who have occasional sex. It is the only birth control method without a direct impact on health.