For at least the last 20 years, researchers have been looking for an effective method of birth control for men beyond the use of condoms. The idea being that men could also take part in the process of preventing against an unplanned pregnancy. Over the course of those 20 years, the big thing researchers were looking for was a form of birth control that would not only be effective, but also would not have side effects that were unbearable or unpleasant.
According to The Guardian, it would seem that researchers have found a male contraceptive that is nearly as effective at preventing pregnancy as the pill for women. However, while the jab may be nearly as effective, there are certain side effects that researchers are still looking into.
BBC News reports that the jab was approximately 96 percent effective in the 270 men that took part in the study. In fact, there were only four reported pregnancies in the group. However, while this birth control may have been effective, there were a seemingly high number of participants who ended up developing different side effects. Among the side effects noted, a high number dealt with mood disorders, as well as acne.
For 20 years researchers have been looking for an effective way to suppress the production of sperm in men, all without side effects that might be long-lasting or even detrimental to the man’s health. The men who took part in the study ranged in age from 18 to 45 and all were involved in a monogamous relationship of at least one year at the time they entered the study.
Each of the men were tested to make sure that they had the normal levels of sperm production before they were administered the birth control. Over the course of their time on the contraceptive, the men were monitored to make sure their sperm levels had dropped down below a million and to make sure that it remained effective. Once the study concluded, researchers also checked to make sure that the men regained their normal sperm counts, with only eight of the men not recovering to their original counts a year after the trial had ended.
Based on the results of the study, it would seem the jab was in fact more effective than condoms, as Planned Parenthood has the efficacy of condoms at approximately 82 percent. Overall, it would seem that this form of male birth control could be the next big thing in terms of helping to prevent unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. While the side effects are certainly something that needs to be considered, the long-term effects are also something that researchers will continue to monitor before the jab becomes a more widespread form of accepted contraceptive. This is especially important for the men who saw more long-lasting side effects.
By Dorothea James