Would your other half be willing to try this?
Talk of a male contraceptive injection has been doing the rounds for years now. At the end of 2016, researchers revealed that they had found a way to suppress sperm count in the testicles. More than 250 men between the ages of 18 and 45 took part in the research, and had all been in monogamous relationships with female partners between the ages of 18 and 38 for at least one year.
Every woman who has suffered from mood swings, depression and acne at the hands of their contraception rejoiced at the news that they might get a bit of a break. But the study was cut short when a safety review noticed that the male participants began experiencing some uncomfortable side effects, such as – oh wait – mood swings, depression, and acne.
However, it seems that all is not lost for ladies who wish they could put down the pill packet as the world’s first male contraceptive injection – which can last up to 13 years – could be available within the next six months.
According to the Hindustan Times, a government-funded biomedical research agency, the Indian Council of Medical Research, has completed clinical trials and is awaiting regulatory approval.
Dr R.S. Sharma, senior scientist with ICMR, said: ‘The product is ready, with only regulatory approvals pending (from the government).
‘The trials are over, including extended, Phase 3 clinical trials for which 303 candidates were recruited with a 97.3 per cent success rate and no reported side effects.
‘The product can safely be called the world’s first male contraceptive.’
VG Somani, drug controller of India, said: ‘It’s the first in the world from India so we have to be extra careful about approval. We are looking at all aspects, especially the good manufacturing practice (GMP) certification that won’t raise any questions about its quality.
‘I’d say it will still take about six to seven months for all the approvals to be granted before the product can be manufactured.’
In 2017, scientists trialled a male contraceptive injection that aimed to prevent the body from releasing sperm. It works by inserting a gel into a tube of the male reproductive system, stopping the sperm from being transported from the testicles to the urethra. The injection had a 100% success rate over two years and was also a reversible procedure.
Professor Adam Balen, Chair of the British Fertility Society, said at the time: ‘This is an interesting technique that achieves a reversible ‘vasectomy’ by blocking the passage of sperm with a substance that later can be flushed out.
‘If free of side effects, then this novel approach has the potential for great promise as a male contraceptive. It is essential to know that the reversibility remains, irrespective of the duration of use.’
Currently, men have two options when it comes to using contraception themselves – either using condoms as a temporary method, or going for the permanent option of a vasectomy.
Women on the other hand have fifteen contraceptive methods available to them in the UK.
So another option for guys that means we can give our bodies and hormones a break?