According to data from the NCHS (National Center for Health Statistics of the United States), 62% of the female population between 15 and 44 years of age uses contraceptive methods. Today, there is a wide variety of contraceptives for women that ensure almost 100% freedom from pregnancy. They range from the most complex (such as tubal ligation, Essure, IUD) to the easiest to administer (such as the contraceptive pill, the vaginal ring or dermal patches).
Women have always been the main focus of attention in terms of reproduction, but what about men? From our experience, we see that in most cases it is the woman who bears the burden of “controlling” not getting pregnant or “facilitating” this desire.
Currently, there are few proven male contraceptive methods with high efficacy. Vasectomy and condoms are the only methods that ensure a high percentage of no risk of pregnancy during sexual intercourse.
But why is there no contraceptive pill for them?
An article has recently been published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism entitled “Efficacy and safety of the combined hormonal contraceptive injection for men” about the new male contraceptive. This study was tested in 320 men (between 18 and 45 years of age), in good health, with good semen quality in terms of sperm concentration and motility, monogamous and with a stable partner. The volunteers received two injections every eight weeks (for a total time of 26 weeks) of 200 mg of a progesterone with norethisterone (NET-EN) and 1,000 milligrams of an androgen called TU to lower their sperm count. At the end of the research only 4 pregnancies occurred. This method has a pregnancy rate similar to that of the contraceptive pill (1.57% male injection vs. 1% contraceptive pill).
Another study conducted by the Parsemus Foundation Foundation, seems to have found the perfect formula which, they say, will soon be commercialized. The study entitled
“Azoospermia in rabbits following an intravas injection of Vasalgel
“has been tested in mammals such as rabbits and baboons, but not in humans. It would be an injection that would block the vas deferens, acting as a barrier to spermatozoa. This injection would be reversible and the duration of the effect has yet to be tested in humans. The drug is composed of hydrogel, a semi-solid solution that allows the passage of light fluids but prevents the passage of heavier fluids such as semen.
If it exists, why isn’t it already commercialized?
The hormone injection study did not proceed further because, according to the researchers, there were “adverse effects” such as “depression and other emotion disorders, pain from the injection, muscle pain, increased libido and acne”. Twenty men even dropped out of the study because of these effects.
But are these effects really that “severe”? The study proved that women who take the pill suffer similar effects, are at risk of thrombosis, emotional disturbances and even the probability of being treated with antidepressants increases by about 23%.
As for Vasalgel, it seems more cost-effective to continue administering hormones to women than to subject men to such an intervention.
As quoted in the October 2016 article in El País, authorities such as Modesto Rey, a member of the Spanish Society of Contraception (SEC)The private initiative does not see the need to advance in the male pill and achieve equal responsibility”. In the end, the summary is “there is no business perspective and there is no more research”. They argue that there is a high reliability of condoms and vasectomy, which makes it unnecessary to expand the spectrum of male contraceptive drugs.
It is more than evident that we must continue to advance research in the field of reproduction and sexual health, both for men and women alike.
Contact our fertility clinic.
Vithas Perpetuo Internacional. Plaza del Doctor Gómez Ulla 15, in Alicante.
Phone: 965230397 / +34 606437458