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posted by cmn32480 on Saturday November 05 2016, @05:19AM   Printer-friendly
from the no-pitter-patter-of-little-feet dept.

Whether it's an IUD, a shot, an implant, or a daily pill, birth control is a regular part of many adult women's lives. It has left a lot of women asking: Why not men?

For years, people have tried to create birth control for men. The World Health Organization commissioned what sounded like a promising trial, a two-hormone injection designed to lower sperm count. Initial results looked like it would be 96 percent effective in preventing pregnancy in the participants' partners. But the Stage II trial was stopped after an independent review panel found that the drug had too many side effects. The results were published last week in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

All Things Considered's Audie Cornish sat down with NPR science correspondent Rob Stein to discuss the trial and the reason it was canceled. Here are excerpts of their conversation, edited for length and clarity.


they realized that a lot of guys were dropping out because they were experiencing side effects. The most common side effect was acne, and sometimes that acne was pretty severe. Some men also developed mood swings and in some cases those mood swings got pretty bad. One man developed severe depression, and another tried to commit suicide. Because of that, they cut the study short.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by theluggage on Saturday November 05 2016, @02:03PM

    by theluggage (1797) on Saturday November 05 2016, @02:03PM (#422834)

    Have you seen any of the drug commercials in the last decade. No drug is advertised without 5 minutes of the presentation going to listing off the dozen of serious side effects.

    Yes, and those side effects include ones that are (going from the docs for one of my meds) "very common (1:10)", "common (1-10 per 100)", "uncommon" (1-10 per 1000), "rare" (1-10 per 10,000) and "very rare" (less than 1 per 10,000). If side-effects like "severe depression and attempted suicide" (RTFA) turned up in the first two categories then you wouldn't be seeing those drugs used outside life-or-death circumstances - and certainly not just as a convenient alternative to sticking a bit of latex on your wang.

    This study had 320 participants - any side effect that showed up would have to be in the "common" or "very common" categories. They had more than one "severe depression" and one "attempted suicide". That's back to the drawing board for a drug that would potentially be used by hundreds of millions worldwide.

    For a widely used drug, an unpredicted side effect in the "rare" or "very rare" is enough for scandals and lawyers at dawn.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05 2016, @10:54PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05 2016, @10:54PM (#422940)

    If a man gets too depressed to bang, the birth control is working. ☺

    If a man suicides, that's even better. It actually reduces the population. ☺