Well, the verdict is in, and it seems that the new male birth control shot is as fraught with controversy and complications as female birth control methods have always been. To recap: we were super excited to learn that options for male birth control were not only in development but were actually in preliminary studies, and it seemed like we were closer than ever to reliable hormonal male birth control methods. Yay!
But then… oh, but then… we learned that a bunch of male participants quit the birth control study because they supposedly couldn’t handle the unpleasant side effects, including but not limited to mood swings, muscle pains, and in some cases, erectile dysfunction.
Of course, the internet had a field day with this, given that women have put up with the unpleasant side effects of birth control for far too long and we’re like, welcome to our world, guys.
The thing is, it wasn’t entirely accurate, and we’re learning that we’ve got to give men a little bit more credit about the whole thing.
In reality, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, only 20 of the 320 participants in the phase II clinical trial dropped out due to side effects. According to the study, more than 75% of the men even said they’d continue to take the shot after the study ended.
It was halted because an independent safety review board raised concerns about the safety of the study, given that one participant committed suicide and another was reportedly unable to regain sperm function. According to the study, the safety review board determined that “the risks to the study participants outweighed the potential benefits to the study participants.”
It’s also worth noting that women drop out of contraception studies for various reasons all the time, too, so blaming the boys isn’t really fair. Sorry, guys. Here’s hoping we’re able to find birth control methods that are safe and agreeable for everyone someday soon.