Female birth control methods are bad enough. But the prospect of wanton reckless sex won’t deter youngsters who look forward to participating in hookup culture. Male birth control isn’t available yet, but it poses serious risks to the male specimen. Currently, at least three types of male birth control methods are being developed. One is a gel, another is an injection, another is a pill, and another is a vasectomy. In this post I want to focus on a new injection that underwent one clinical trial already, and the pill for men.
RISUG: A Plastic Injection to Your Vas Deferens
The vas deferens is the tube that sperm travels through before it is ejaculated out the urethra. A vasectomy blocks ejaculation by snipping this tube. A new procedure that is similar in concept to the vasectomy is RISUG, short for Reversible Inhibitor of Sperm Under Guidance. Developed by Sujoy Guha, a 78-year old biomedical engineer in New Dehli, this procedure involves injecting a plastic polymer into the vas deferens. The goal of this treatment is to make your sperm cells ineffective. The outcome is azoospermia, or oligozoospermia, an absence of or an abnormally low number of viable sperm in your semen.
A clinical trial of RISUG found that this outcome was achieved in most participants by just one month following injection (82.7% of participants, out of 139 total). The rest achieved it within 3-6 months of the injection, and only 6 people, who weren’t analyzed, failed to receive the full dose due to procedural issues.
Participants did not note any decrease in sex drive or performance, but my concern is that the polymer being injected, styrene maleic anhydride (SMA), is a plastic, and putting plastic into your body is estrogenic. We have enough factors making us infertile, and I don’t think we need anymore. But for men not suffering from fertility, they might wish to be sterilized to enjoy sex liberally. However, these men should note that being able to have children doesn’t mean your gonads are perfectly healthy. We’re under assault due to plastics in our water and food supply, and truly need to take extra precaution to preserve our fertility and testosterone production. Be kind to your balls gentlemen.
With this treatment, the man can still ejaculate, but his sperm will somehow mix with this plastic polymer so that it is ineffective. How could this plastic-infused semen affect the health of his female partner? Could those plastics end up being absorbed in the woman’s bloodstream? And what are the downstream effects of that? These are things I wonder because it’s important to put good things in our bodies, and that does not include man-made chemicals.
The Pill For Men: A Testosterone Suppressant
The problem with a male birth control pill is that it lowers fertility hormonally. Lowering fertility by blocking the flow of sperm, like with using a condom, or pulling out, won’t harm a man’s health. But tinkering with his hormones could affect everything from his mood to his sleep. Similarly, birth control for women affects women’s mood as well as their mate preferences. Male birth control pills would work to lower sperm production, and one way they would do this is by lowering a man’s testosterone. This could also affect his mate preferences, and possibly his attraction to his partner.
That’s what researchers from LA Biomed investigated when they put the male birth control pill 11-beta-MNTDC or 11-beta-methyl-19-nortestosterone dodecylcarbonate, through safety testing. The belief is that this drug would block sperm production without lowering libido or other testosterone-dependent functions. The idea is to block testosterone just in the testis. It also lowers lutenizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, which are necessary for the testis to make sperm, by increasing testosterone.
As stated in the abstract for the safety trial, the drug does suppress serum testosterone:
The active drug 11β-MNT has androgenic and progestational activity, rapidly suppresses serum testosterone, and is a promising candidate for an effective once-daily oral male hormonal contraceptive.Safety and Pharmacokinetics of Single-Dose Novel Oral Androgen 11β-Methyl-19-Nortestosterone-17β-Dodecylcarbonate in Men
It will take at least ten years for a drug like this to come onto the market, but anything that could affect a young man’s testosterone needs to be rethought. Young men today need more testosterone, not less of it.