Male Birth Control Pill Breakthrough
Researchers hail that the male contraceptive pill is 'possible in the next 10 years.'
Australian scientists have succeeded in blocking two proteins "that control the transport of sperm during ejaculation," resulting in male infertility…in lab mice, at least. The researchers are now looking to develop a version for human males that can be available in the next 10 years.
What has taken science so long?
Simply, the task is mammoth. Scientists needed a way to "suppress daily sperm production while maintaining normal testosterone levels," and because "men emit millions of sperm in each ejaculation, while women only produce one egg per month," AskMen reports. The men's site also wrote in a separate post on the matter, "A male pill would have to be working 24/7 to work. And that can be hard to administer, especially when you consider the very real human error of not taking the pill on time."
Do we want a male pill?
This male birth control pill -- if safe, reversible, side-effect free -- would be a huge scientific development, as birth control has mainly been a woman's responsibility. Currently, there are only two contraception choices for men -- condoms (which many say make sex less pleasurable) and a vasectomy (which is kind of extreme). And yet, it seems like most of the population wants men to take up a bigger role in contraception use. AskMen reported that a 1997 survey of 4000 participants found that 66 percent of those polled, male and female, would like this option.
Possible legal and gender consequences
A major critic of the male pill Carl Djerassi informed Wired of the slew of potential lawsuits because no one knows what long-term side effects the oral male pill would have (erectile dysfunction, infertility). Also, Djerassi said that the pill would place all responsibility of avoiding pregnancy on men, even though women are the ones who actually deal with getting pregnant. What if something with the male pill goes wrong, and the woman has do deal with it?
What do you think of the male birth control pill?