Male Contraceptive Injection Halted For Same Side Effects Women Have Suffered For Years

The male contraceptive jab could be as effective as the female contraceptive pill

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A male contraceptive injection has been invented (huzzah) and early trials have indicated that it could be just as effective as the female contraceptive pill.

Currently, though, the trials have been halted due to reports of some unpleasant side-effects.

The male pill is an idea that has been floated for a few years now - development actually began in the '80s. But a male pill has yet to appear on the market. The concept has been widely panned, mostly because not many women would trust a man to take it with the precision, regularity and timing required for the pill's efficacy to remain intact.

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The contraceptive injection could change all of that though, because much like the female contraceptive jab, a one time injection can provide months of pregnancy-free sex.

The contraceptive jab that's hit headlines today is said to work by lowering a man's active sperm count. Or, as The Guardian puts it, by 'switching off the male reproductive system.' A little like the contraceptive pills which stop ovulation in women.

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It is reportedly around 96 per cent effective, which puts it much on the same level as the pill.

The current trial, though, was halted early due to some 'unpleasant' side effects - including depression, acne and an inflated libido - which caused 20 men to drop out of the study early.

Sound familiar?

While of course these side effects (any side effects) should be taken seriously, it is interesting that they are the same sorts of side effects women have complained of about the pill since its inception.

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The contraceptive pill was approved in 1960 for popular use among women. And while it was being celebrated as a marker of sexual liberation, the adverse side effects involved with regular use were somewhat sidelined.

Most women were supposed to put up with a bit of weight gain, changes to their skin, a few headaches here and there, because the benefit of being in more control over family planning was so brilliant.

Interestingly, if you read Broadly's investigation into the darker history of the pill, they also reference three women dying during the initial trials.

A more grievously widespread issue, though, depression as a side effect was only really fully acknowledged in the mainstream this year, despite women clamouring out for decades that some pills had the capacity to completely alter mood and personality.

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It's taken 60 years and a lot of damage to women's lives, for scientists to conclusively look into whether there might legitimately be a link between depression and female contraception.

So while we're looking for a contraceptive solution that doesn't cause any unpleasantness for men, let's hope there is the same level of effort being trained on developing a side-effect free solution for women too.

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