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Finally: The Male Birth Control Pill Is Actually Going to Be A Thing

It’s going to take a few years, but it’s still pretty exciting.

There are so many factors that come into play when choosing a contraceptive, like, can I afford the Mirena? Will I remember to take a pill at the same time every day? And what TF is a diaphragm any way? One question that is never asked, however, is whether the dude should be the one on birth control, ‘cos that’s not even a thing, right? Good news for those of us who are sick of all the responsibility of contraceptives landing on us: the male birth control pill is happening.

Recent research led by Dr Wang (I know, right) at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute and the University of Washington showed that a male contraceptive has passed preliminary safety tests. The pill needs to be taken every day and produces hormones at a level that indicate it can be used effectively as birth control (i.e. couples haven’t taken it for a test drive yet but the science says it’ll work).

At the moment, the only way men can be responsible for birth control is through using condoms and by getting a vasectomy. The male birth control pill could be the answer for couples who don’t want to use condoms but also don’t want to rule out kids completely by getting a vasectomy.

You might remember rolling your eyes back in 2016 at the news that a male birth control pill was deemed unsuccessful because the participants complained of too many negative side effects. As women whose contraceptive side effects range from extreme depression to heavier bleeding to bad skin, we had to laugh. This time around the side effects for the male participants was minimal, with only two men reporting mild erectile dysfunction, and not bad enough for anyone to stop participating in the study.

The pill will suppress sperm and testosterone production to the point where pregnancy is unlikely, but not enough to decrease libido or muscle mass. ‘Although the body’s production of testosterone is lower…the compound will support sex function, retain muscle mass, and all the good things that the male hormone does for the body,’ says Wang.

The bad news is this pill is still about a decade away from being commercially available, so don’t throw away your packet of Yas just yet.

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