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8 comments

The Male 'Pill' is Almost Here.

Posted June 26, 2013 3:35 PM by HUSH
Pathfinder Tags: contraceptive men's health

I hope you're enjoying the 'holiday season.' No, I clearly don't mean the drudgery of Thanksgiving to New Year's Day - that is months away. Rather, I refer to the summer holiday season, which is about ten times better. Sun, not snow. BBQ, not turkey (again). Swimming, not singing. Fireworks shopping, not present shopping. I could go on.

Yes, make no mistake, the string of American Flag Day, Father's Day, Canada Day and American Independence Day is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. I live in New York, so I get to enjoy the occasional 'maple syrup and ball hockey party' that slips across the border. Though I'm not a father yet, I do appreciate everything my own dad has done for me over the years, so chalking up a few hours to spend with the big guy seems like nothing.

However, I also celebrate Not a Father's Day. It's a rather recent holiday (read: fake) which was invented by the sitcom How I Met Your Mother. I fully expect to have little HUSHes running around the house someday, but for now I'd rather just enjoy all my money and time on my own. And with recent developments in male contraception, it is likely my Not a Father's Day parties will last for at least a few more years.

First, a quick review: contraception is a bit of hot topic issue, but we were able to keep our conversation about NSA surveillance well-focused and mature, so let's keep that etiquette established mmm'kay?

While there are obvious methods of contraception available to men (condoms and vasectomies), there is a glaring discrepancy in the number of fertility control options that are available to women overall. Women have access to hormonal contraception, intrauterine devices, and morning after pills, in addition to the resources available to men. There are several ancient methods of male contraceptive, including things like hemp and papaya seeds, but these are not 100% effective, may have side effects, and are disregarded as 'herbal remedies'.

However, it was recently established that a surprising number of men would be interested in a male contraceptive that is as accessible as birth control pills. Significant research has been conducted and some experts say a male oral contraceptive could be fast-tracked and made available by 2015. A variety of other methods are in research as well.

  • Ultrasound: Treating the testicles with ultrasound has been shown to provide sterility for up to six months and even prevent cells in the testes from undergoing meiosis. However, this hasn't been tested for reversibility, and large doses of ultrasound have been shown to induce permanent sterility.
  • Vasalgel: This polymer solution is injected into the vas deferens where the active ingredient, styrene maleic anhydride, has a positive charge and disrupts the negative membrane of the sperm when it passes by. This method is immediately reversible with another injection, or the effectiveness of Vasalgel diminishes after five years. This product is almost available in India, and is expected to be in Europe and North America in 3 to 5 years.
  • · Topical gel: A topical gel mixture of progestin and testosterone is applied to the skin daily. The progestin interrupts the natural production of testosterone, and therefore spermatogenesis, while the testosterone helps maintain libido and muscle. There are some significant drawbacks. Using the gel could cost up to $10 a day and it is only 85% effective. And, what seems counterintuitive considering what it allows people to do, women would have to be extremely careful around the gel, lest they suffer hormonal effects.
  • Gamendazole: This drug paralyzes a sperm's ability to swim, meaning they cannot find or penetrate an egg. Without a doubt, this drug has the greatest promise, as it is non-hormonal and is reversible by simply discontinuing the prescription. Best of all, the drug would be cheap and available as a pill.
  • JQ1: This protein inhibitor is used in cancer treatment to make cells "forget that they are cancer," by affecting the bromodomains that determine cancerous cells. This mechanism can also be used on BDRT, a cell protein responsible for spermatogenesis. In this way, the tests also forget how to make sperm. It is both 100% effective and reversible.

Ideally, a new male contraceptive needs to be cheap, effective and easily administered. These are the primary reasons that implementing female birth control has been rather successful. In this age of equality and feminism, men should have a similar number of options for family planning as women. While I'm not sure if it would affect the quantity of guests on Maury, I'm sure many women would be on board with this sorely-needed innovation as well.

Resources

PopSci - 8 Promising Methods of Male Birth Control

Wikipedia - Male contraceptive; Birth control

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#1

Re: The Male 'Pill' is Almost Here.

06/26/2013 4:24 PM

In the last two weeks i have found Tea Tree oil to be highly effective. I got into some poison Ivy and have been using it to keep the itch down.

Neat side effect is it works like wife repellent too!

I put a bunch on one night before going to bed and shortly after that my wife asked me what that smell was. I said it's witch repellant. Is it working?

Now I have my side of the bed back.

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#2

Re: The Male 'Pill' is Almost Here.

06/26/2013 4:43 PM

The male morning-after pill won't be coming soon, though....

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: The Male 'Pill' is Almost Here.

06/26/2013 4:51 PM

Not unless time travel (or something similar) is perfected.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: The Male 'Pill' is Almost Here.

06/26/2013 6:52 PM

No but an 'evening before' pill that helps make a guys vision and mental functions more clear for better choices would be a good one!

Nobody a wants to wake up and see their new baby mama looks like a cross between a gorilla, a puffer fish, and a bag lady.

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#7
In reply to #4

Re: The Male 'Pill' is Almost Here.

06/27/2013 10:56 AM

Nobody a wants to wake up and see their new baby mama looks like a cross between a gorilla, a puffer fish, and a bag lady.

Sure. Rub it in.

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#5

Re: The Male 'Pill' is Almost Here.

06/26/2013 9:19 PM

Just put a cork in it! Don't tranquilizers do the job also? ;)

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#6

Re: The Male 'Pill' is Almost Here.

06/26/2013 10:39 PM

Try Aspirin. If you put a large aspirin tablet in your shoe, it will make you limp.

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#8

Re: The Male 'Pill' is Almost Here.

06/28/2013 3:35 PM

The woman could hold the pill between her legs?

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