College-age students are one of the largest demographics of people who utilize birth control. The topic of birth control has been an ongoing discussion since the 1800s and still continues today. Now, there are numerous forms of birth control for women, but still only one for men.
According to The Cut and Live Science, it appears the biggest issues in creating a birth control for men is that the medical companies don’t think the pill will sell to the male demographic and that “men wouldn’t be trusted to take it,” Live Science said.
While these two issues are listed as two of the most common problems with the medication, the bigger issue on the medical side is the fact that there is a lot more to target reproductively when talking about male birth control. Females produce roughly one sex cell a month, while males on average can produce at least 40 million sperm cells a day.
As of today, the most reliable and Federal Drug Administration (FDA)approved form of male birth control is sterilization or a vasectomy. This procedure involves the cutting or blocking of the vas deferens in the male genitalia and can cost upwards of $1000.
According to Wired, the pharmaceutical industry has been trying to come up with a male contraceptive pill, an alternative to these invasive surgeries, since the late 50s.
The UNM community responded to the idea of using male birth control to prevent conception in varied ways. Some were uncertain about the idea and how it could work while others were open to the idea. According to Martin Ventura, who has studied psychology at UNM said for him taking male birth control would be contingent on side effects.
“Why would I take a pill when I could just pull out?” college student Kennedy Ohiri said on Snapchat in response to the question ‘If there were a birth control from men, would you take it? If not, why?’
“I say no cuz how would it work for men? We are definitely built different than a woman ya feel?” Albuquerque resident Wambli Soto said in response to the same question.
When the female contraceptive birth control pill came out in 1950, it took awhile for the medication to gain Federal Drug Administration approval due to a variety of side effects that patients were experiencing, including a few fatalities. However, by 1960 the pill gained FDA approval despite the minor side effects it caused women.
Female birth control focuses on the prevention of egg release or the blocking or sperm to egg. Generally, since women release an egg on average once a month, the target of the birth control is very easy. Most female birth controls either prevent the release of the egg once a month or they create an environment that is too toxic for the sperm to survive in, so it cannot reach the egg.
Beginning in the 1960s, several different forms of male birth control have been presented but none have passed the safety and ethics codes due to “severe side effects.” A new study, originally published in the Endocrine Society Journal, was conducted by senior and co-senior investigators at both institutions in Feb. 2019. It took place in Los Angeles Biomed Research Institute and the University of Washington in Seattle. The study was funded by The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and tested a new form of the male contraception pill.
This experiment of the contraceptive pill was performed on a group of 40 healthy men taking different dosages of the pill once a day with food for roughly 30 days.
The results of the experiment proved the pill to be effective. However, considering the experiment took place over 30 days and the pill takes between 60 and 90 days to reach its full therapeutic dose, researchers must first conduct longer and more in-depth studies which will then lead to more certain results. It is predicted that there will be a safe and effective birth control for men within the next ten years.
Christina Kaskabas is a freelance culture reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @cake_tinaa