Birth Control Shots For Men Prevent Pregnancy, But Cause Mood Swings, Depression
GENEVA, Switzerland (CBS) — Birth control shots for men are an effective form of contraception but the side effects are a problem.
An international study just found they’re almost as effective as the pill for women. It was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
The injections work by using hormones to drastically lower sperm count.
Of the 266 married men who participated in the study, only 4 became fathers.
Sounds promising but the gender gap in contraceptive use may not close anytime soon.
For one thing the pharmaceutical companies aren’t throwing a whole lot of money at the idea.
“Their concern may be there’s a lack of profitability, maybe there is a question of gender bias,” says CBS medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula. “There’s a concern of regulatory hurdles. In addition, it’s not as easy to stop 1,500 sperm that are produced per second as opposed to one egg per month.”
Another concern are the side effects. Researchers actually stopped the study early due to mood changes and depression in some of the participants.
Researchers say other side effects were acne, injection site pain, and increased libido.
Study: Efficacy and Safety of an Injectable Combination Hormonal Contraceptive for Men
Of the 320 participants, 95.9 of 100 continuing users (95% confidence interval [CI], 92.8–97.9) suppressed to a sperm concentration less than or equal to 1 million/mL within 24 weeks (Kaplan-Meier method). During the efficacy phase of up to 56 weeks, 4 pregnancies occurred among the partners of the 266 male participants, with the rate of 1.57 per 100 continuing users (95% CI, 0.59–4.14). The cumulative reversibility of suppression of spermatogenesis after 52 weeks of recovery was 94.8 per 100 continuing users (95% CI, 91.5–97.1). The most common adverse events were acne, injection site pain, increased libido, and mood disorders. Following the recommendation of an external safety review committee the recruitment and hormone injections were terminated early.
The study regimen led to near-complete and reversible suppression of spermatogenesis. The contraceptive efficacy was relatively good compared with other reversible methods available for men. The frequencies of mild to moderate mood disorders were relatively high.