For centuries the burden of birth control has fallen on women because women have to face more health risks if they become pregnant or abort. On the other hand, it can also be said that men have only two options when it comes to contraception, i.e., condom and vasectomy. It’s almost more than 50 years since condoms have been discovered and yet there is no oral contraception for males in the market.
There are many reasons why such pills are not in the market yet, right from scientific to psychological reasons. Many companies are in research to develop, while others don’t put effort because of the psychological aspects of both men and women.
Why do we need of male contraceptive pill
But the question is, why do we need male contraceptive pills if we already have options for men and women for birth control. Firstly, to give justice, the contraceptive responsibility must be shared by both partners. In the past few years, women have been only the responsible ones to take care of contraception, while it also has effects over a woman’s health in numerous ways. Secondly, men, too, should have access to reliability and freedom to have a choice about sexual and reproductive decisions.
Research and Barriers
Researches have been on for a few years but has said, and only two reasons are becoming the barrier for the pills to come to market. One is the scientific reason which has a direct connection with the hormones that might lead to fatigue, loss of sex drive, or even erectile dysfunction. On the other hand, the psychological part is where the question arises, will men take the pills? Researches have shown a partial yes to this whole other bunch of male has straightway denied. So, many companies are putting efforts in researching how to invent a pill that has fewer side effects, and the other who is focused on the psychological factor is not willing to invest considering it won’t sustain and be acceptable in the market.
Many of us have a question in mind that we have been so advanced in technology and inventions and still why the world doesn’t have male birth control. But we all don’t know why it is a lot harder to make one. While it comes to a woman’s pill, it works in a way that it resists the ovulation. So the science is simple; if the woman’s body does not ovulate, it won’t release the eggs in the cycle, and so the eggs won’t be fertilized. This way, the pregnancy is stopped. But when it comes to the male’s body, the process has to be exactly reversible. Here the mechanism should be not letting the sperm enter the ovaries. And there is no way to stop male sperm production.
Sperm production is way too high in the volume daily. If we see in women, they release one egg per month during their menstrual cycle. So, to control that ovary, fooling them is much easier than stopping the daily production of 1000 sperm per second. So, the target is a lot bigger. So the more the target, the more dose is required, and so the invitation to more side effects. Studies also show that even after halting the new sperm production in a male’s body, a male can impregnate a woman for three months as that’s how long it takes for existing sperm to get cleared out.
The trials and research are conducted continuously on the sperm-blocking and how much longer it will last months, years, or longer. Researchers also are focusing on controlling the side effects of the pills as they are not one-time consumption pills but a regular dose requirement to stop sperm production.
The pills have direct contact with the hormones in the body. In the conducted researches, it has been proved that men make experience acne, weight gain, moodiness, loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and fatigue. So here, the purpose of worrying less sex id been defeated by the pill itself. Also, the women’s contraceptive pills are already known to have side effects like heart diseases, breast, cervical or ovarian cancers, etc. While there is no base to what extensive health risks a male contraceptive will bring to a man’s health.
A poll was conducted among men following their acceptance of the pill. The majority of men have denied taking the pills due to its known and rising side effects in the future. Also, another reason is the mindset seen in males of the dominant perceptions that men do not think they should be responsible for contraception, and its the sole responsibility of women to do so.
Over the decades, females have been centered as the consumer of the contraceptives because then the shared contraceptive responsibility was not empowered, and males being the dominant in the role due to traditions and culture never considered being the one to control the birth. However, the only ways known to them were the usage of condoms and withdrawal methods.The pharmaceutical industries utilizing this opportunity began money-making by encouraging women to take the role of contraceptive responsibility paving the path to focus almost exclusively on women-only methods.
So, tradition and culture do have a part to play in the invention of the pill. If no or fewer men are interested in taking the shared responsibility of contraception, then there would be no scope for the male contraceptive pill, resulting in no demand for the male pill in the markets.
The key reason researchers are not putting enough effort into the trials if no ROI is expected from it. Rather these companies again choose to further advance in women pills. Another reason is women can’t trust men in their responsibilities, and one such can be of consuming the pills. While a study was conducted, women said they wouldn’t rely on males to be responsible for contraceptive ways for birth control because one missed a day, and we have to suffer the health risks. Though there are mixed responses of men and more youth are ready to participate in the shared responsibility, more and more companies are now undertaking trials to develop a male-centric pill.
Future of the Male Contraceptive Pill
Despite all of this, there is still a strong interest in a male birth control pill – and companies are investing in research to invent a pill for men that shut down the testosterone levels and decrease the production of sperms in the body while keeping the side effects as less as possible. Along with the research part, there is a needed change in ideology too. The belief that women and men should both be equally responsible for contraception should be made aware and implanted in all the couples.
Still, a male birth control method that gives both of the partner’s equal opportunities to take responsibility is an interesting prospect. Further, growing awareness of the contraception responsibility among males and bringing a hopeful shift in cultural conversation would help to bring the product in the market sooner.