Posted: July 15, 2016 Contributor: administrator

Why Isn’t There A Birth Control Pill For Men?

Promises of an oral birth control pill for men have been splashed across headlines for years. However, male contraceptives may not be on the market anytime soon. What is the holdup? There are two main differences between men and women that make it more challenging to create a pill for men. First, men produce 1,000 sperm every second whereas women make one egg a month. Second, very small doses of hormones can trick ovaries into thinking that a woman is pregnant, but men never really stop producing sperm, so you have to overload the male body with hormones to stop sperm production.

Lack of investment

It has also taken so long because of a lack of investment from pharmaceutical companies. The average cost of getting a pharmaceutical to market is enormous and the resources aren’t there for researchers right now to create, test, and market a male pill, especially when other forms of birth control already exist.

Not for lack of interest, though

Lack of interest from consumers definitely isn’t something holding up the process though. A German study in 2005 found that over half of 9,000 men from nine countries on four continents would use a birth control method that was capable of preventing sperm production. Another survey asked 134 women if they would let their partners use a male pill, roughly half said they would, but more than half were worried that men would forget to take the pill regularly.

What would male contraception look like?

The male “pill” may not end up being a pill at all. The liver breaks down testosterone so quickly, so the hormones would likely have to be in the form of a cream or injection, which is much less attractive to consumers. Experts have said that if the funding for male BC stays at its current level, it will likely take 20+ years before we see it on the market. Sorry ladies!

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