Bloating, acne, mood swings, loss of libido. If you’re currently taking long-term contraception like the combined pill, you’ll likely have experienced some of the above side effects. But to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, it’s something women are often willing to just suck up. Sadly, the same can’t be said for our male counterparts currently trialling male contraception.
While women may have rejoiced in the news that the injected male contraceptive is now a very real, very effective option, there seems to be a bit of a spanner in the works.
In a trial of 320 men, researchers found that, over a one-year period, the new male contraceptive was 96% effective in preventing pregnancy. Great! So what’s the problem?
Well, it seems that the trial has already been halted. Because 20 of the 320 men taking part found the side effects so intolerable that the trial operators decided that more research needed to be done to counteract them. Wait, what?
Since 1962 when the pill was first launched, women have been bearing a major part of the contraception responsibility, and sucking up all the side effects that can often go with having a greater control over their pregnancy preventing choices. But it seems men can’t be allowed to suffer in the same way.
Of course any side effects during a trial should be taken seriously, but it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the unpleasantness some of the men reported: depression, mood swings, acne and the like are the same sorts of side effects women have complained about since the pill’s launch.
So while we continue to research a contraceptive solution that doesn’t cause any unpleasantries for men, let’s hope there is the same level of effort being put into developing a side-effect free solution for us girls too.
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