Once-a-day birth control pills for men are one step closer to being a thing


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/20/once-a-day-birth-control-pills.html


#2

Vasectomy, say it, know it, do it, after you make a baby or two, or not.


#3

Will they have those electronic pill tags so that a woman can audit if it was taken?

Because the consequences of “oops, I forgot this morning” are not symmetrical.


#4

Equity aside, there’s an upside for women in that they can throw the stuff away after age… maybe 40?

Tony Randall would have to keep up his pill regime until he’s 100!


#5

Unfortunately, even if efficacious, I foresee difficulty marketing this. Tell a dude, “this works by lowering testosterone” and you’ve just turned off a significant portion of your target audience.


#6

Good bit after 40 for a start! Men would probably do well if they are in their 60s to have fairly equal age partners anyway…


#7

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21929275-500-mens-sperm-quality-decreases-at-age-35/

" there is fairly convincing epidemiological evidence that older men do find it harder to conceive a child – regardless of female age – and as men get older their partners are at increased risk of miscarriage,” says Allan Pacey, a fertility specialist at the University of Sheffield, UK. There is also a slightly increased risk of older men fathering children with genetic disorders."


#8

I’m getting a vasectomy right now.


#9

Like, right now?


#10

The BBS addiction struggle is real.


#11

LOL

What else you gonna do, though, aside from make awkward conversation with the urologist?


#12

Just look at that eggplant.

Just look at it.


#13

“It’s literally and figuratively an outpatient procedure.”
crickets
“That’s all I got”


#14

Not surprising at all, but birth control is not about reducing the odds of pregnancy. It had better be near 100%!


#15

Of course.

But It’s worth noting that menopause doesn’t even begin for some women until into their fifties, and that both men and women experience reproductive decline as they age.


#16

Genital reassignment surgery will also do the trick!

Just sayin’…


#17

Staying inside and talking to no one is also a great form of birth control. So I’ve heard…


#18

Now that I’m transitioning, I sometimes think that my vasectomy was a pointless half measure…


#19

Yeah, for this reason I don’t really see it replacing “the pill” except for those in comitted monogamous relationships.

For those swinging bachelors, it does give an alternative to just believing the lady who says “it’s OK, I’m on the pill.”


#20

Sorry, but it is still very likely this will not work nearly as well as birth control pills for women.

It’s a much easier thing to stop one ovum per cycle than the about 250 million sperm per ejaculation. Sperm production is continuous. With the female pill if you stop 99% of ovulations you have one cycle with a chance of fertilization per about 8 years. Even if you stop 99.9% of sperm production you still have 250 000 sperm capable of fertilizing an egg. Per ejaculation. Would you take those odds?

Also there are the unknown long term side effects of these drugs that men would take for decades. You can of course argue that there are side effects (some serious) with the female pills too, but I would say that from a population level medical standpoint a known drug, with known side effects is a much safer bet.

Another thing is that the male pill has been coming “in about 5 years” for decades. Check out the multiple drugs Wikipedia lists. It’s clear we’re pretty great at rat birth control… Even if a truly viable drug was developed it would have to be commercially viable and previous tries have not been.