A Pill for Your Pills

The blogosphere is buzzing about the new Male contraceptive, but I have some serious worries. Here is how it works:

The treatment is a combination of an implant containing the male sex hormone testosterone, which was replaced every four months, and a three-monthly injection of a progestin, a hormone used in female contraceptive pills.

The reversible treatment works by making use of the body’s own natural system which is involved in initiating puberty.

The combination of the two hormones temporarily turns off the normal signals from the brain that stimulate sperm production.

But the process also turns off the man’s own testosterone production – so he needs to be given extra doses of the hormone to keep him healthy and maintain his sex drive.

Warning bells went off in my mind. You see, it wasn’t that long ago that I was looking at the side effects of andro and other steroids. One of those side effects is testicular atrophy (shrinkage.) This has long been known as a side effect. What happens is that the steroids take over for the testicles in producing various hormones, so the body assumes that enough is being produced.

Since you already have enough all the time, your testicles stop making them. (Just the situation this system is designed to cause.) When that happens, your pills shut down, and they start to shrink. Really. There won’t any lying to your partner about whether or not you’ve been talking your shots, because when you have pills the size of peas instead of grapes, she’ll know.

In the study, none of the couples used any other form of contraception, and no serious side effects were seen.

Notice that qualifier “serious side effects”. I wonder if testicular atrophy is considered serious.

I would have to have someone to have sex with before I would need this, but I think I’m going to pass on it if the issue comes up.

One Comment

  1. LabRat says:

    Nowadays testicular shrinkage only happens if the bodybuilder doesn’t do his homework; your average joe musclehead who finished high school can combine and cycle products so that the usual negative side effects- gynecomastia and testicular atrophy chief among them- don’t occur.

    I know that bodybuilders can deal with it with the aid of modern medical knowledge, but I’m not sure if the demands of this birth control method will let it be done the same way. Either way, I do know that the atrophy only happens after YEARS of heavy abuse, so who knows.