The Male Hormonal ContraceptiveTuesday, April 24, 2012 9:31
It’s still in clinical trials, and scientists aren’t yet sure when it will be approved for general use, or even what form it will come in — pill, gel or shot, but a prescription male hormonal contraceptive is on the horizon.
“Here’s the deal,” said endocrinologist Dr. Ronald Swerdloff, director of the Harbor-UCLA World Health Organization in Torrance, Calif. “Other than condoms and vasectomy there are no other products out there for male contraception. We know there’s an important need out there for reversible male birth control — and our progress in providing it has been considerable. We know that the male hormone testosterone can be administered to men to turn off the signals in the brain that come from the pituitary gland resulting in a decrease in sperm production and an increase in sperm death.”
Women, says Swerdloff, seem to have mixed feelings on the subject of male contraception.
“On one hand some women are saying, `Well, it’s about time for men to start sharing in the responsibility,’” Swerdloff said. “But on the other hand women are saying, ‘What woman is going to trust a man to be responsible about birth control?’
“We’re not saying the hormonal male contraceptive will be a replacement for female contraceptives; we’re seeing it as an option — another choice,” Swerdloff said.