Information taken from Susan Scutti’s CNN article published on October 31st 2016.

A study co-sponsored by the United Nations found that a new type of male birth control effectively prevented pregnancy in female partners.  The results of the study were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.  The study began in September 2008 at health centres around the world, and men with a normal sperm count were given an injection of 1,000mg of a synthetic form of testosterone and 200mg of norethisterone enanthate, a derivative of the female hormones progesterone and oestrogen.  This was to fool the male brain into thinking the body was getting enough testosterone, and thereby causing the body to stop production of its own supply. Based on previous studies, the researchers used this combination of hormones to reduce the body’s supply of testosterone to a level that would effectively lower fertility, yet still be safe.

Apparently this contraceptive injection was effective in 96% of continuing users, yet in March 2011 researchers decided to stop the study due to 3% of the men experiencing side effects of depression and other mood disorders. Most of the men returned to normal fertility after a recovery period, but 20% of the men had dropped out of the study due to the side effects.  It is a known fact that 20 – 30% of women who take oral contraceptive pills experience similar mood swings, and have to take medication for it.  This leads me to ask the following question…

Why can’t men have a contraceptive injection and take anti-depressants if they are needed, just like women do?

Hmm, why not indeed I answer myself.  Doug Colvard, co-author of the study, thought that fluctuations in circulating hormones following the injections could have resulted in the mood swings, such as occurs in women whether they take an oral contraceptive or not. This led me to the following thought:

If men experience the mood swings that women suffer during PMS every month, then perhaps they will know what it feels like and be more sympathetic!

All women of childbearing age have to take some form of contraception if they do not want a pregnancy, because they are the ones who will be saddled with an unwanted baby.  However, quite a lot of the men decided to cop out of the study when the going got too tough.  This makes me wonder whether men would be as conscientious as women in administering their injections if the study, and depression, became a reality in their daily lives.

What do you think?

 

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