Do you think men will have a birth control pill? If so, when?

Although scientists have been working on developing a safe and effective method of oral (taken by mouth) birth control for men, there is nothing available yet. The only birth control options for guys at this time are: abstinence (not having sex), condoms, use of a spermicide, and a vasectomy (which requires a surgical procedure and is permanent). [Note: It’s important to remember there is no perfect birth control method for the prevention of pregnancy, but through consistent use with all sexual activity and closely following the directions for use, you can increase the effectiveness of your chosen birth control method!]

Part of the challenge and perhaps the main reason it is taking longer to develop a birth control method for men is the fact that, while women only make one egg a month, men on the other hand make millions of sperm with each ejaculation. If you think of it like a math problem—it’s easier to prevent 1 egg from reaching a sperm than it is to stop millions of sperm from reaching an egg.

One experiment that tested hormone pills in men was discontinued because some of the men in the study experienced side effects that included: acne, mood swings, weight gain, and a decrease in good cholesterol levels. New studies may look at lower doses of different hormones and finding ways to alter the way sperm swim so they can’t reach and fertilize an egg. Scientists haven’t given up but it will likely take many more years before a birth control pill or other highly effective birth control methods for men are approved and available.


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