• Women Call Double Standards as Male Contraceptive Study is Stopped

    Recent research by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found out that a male birth control shot is 96 percent effective. But before anyone could jump with joy, turns out that this shot won’t be available in the market just yet. Why? Answer being the visible side-effects of the shot – depression, mood changes and libido issues. Yes, the similar side effects that women, who take hormone based birth control measures, go through. When the male subjects were noted with side-effects, the study was stopped mid-way with the comment that the risks outweigh the potential benefit of these contraceptive shots.

    Elisabeth Lloyd, a professor of biology and philosophy at Indiana University – Bloomington told CNN that “Twenty percent or 30 percent of the women who take oral birth control pills experience depression and have to take medication for it.”

    This study was co-sponsored by the United Nations and involved 320 healthy men – all aged between 18 to 45 years who were in a monogamous relationship with their female partners. The men were injected with 1000 mg of synthetic testosterone alone with 200 mg of progestin, that would halt the testosterone production leading to fewer sperm production eventually.

    According to the study, the contraceptive was almost 96 percent effective on the participants (the men in the study), and about 75 percent of the men in the study said they would be willing to choose this method of contraception.

    The professor, Elisabeth Lloyd agrees that there are risks of course, but not fatal risks, unlike for women who take contraceptive measures. She told CNN, ”You have to compare what women are doing in terms of taking hormones with what men are doing in terms of taking hormones. Are they taking their life in their hands when they take the hormones? Women are. And that needs to be put right up in front when considering the risk.”

    How is it that the similar side effects in men are too risky but for women is okay? How is the scientific and research giving an ‘ok’ to this practice while stopping their research mid-study because it showed 3 percent depression for men?

    Just like us, the twitterati too did not take this too well.

    Just a quick peek back into history, shows us the genuine health scares for women. 

    In 1960, the birth control pill is approved for contraceptive use, ‘available for all’ in the US, and within 3 years, 2.3 million women are on the pill, according to PBS. But it turns out that the pill — while a revolutionary concept — has severe side effects, including “the risk of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, depression, weight gain and loss of libido”. It’s only by 1988, that the high-dose pill is taken off the market and a safer, low-dose version becomes available.

    Even today, as women and doctors have been saying, there are side effects similar to what men in the study reported. And yet, somehow it’s not an option for women not to bear the brunt — with the study being called off for male subjects, that option is off the table.
    This definitely calls for new and better research for women subjects who have been suffering from the risks of taking hormone based birth control measures and give a better understanding on how these risks can be overturned and by what methods.

    Feature Image Courtesy: Jezebel

    Read More Stories by Sukanya Sharma