Male Birth Control Study Halted Due to Unwanted Emotional Side Effects

Kelsey Clark

Men and women are equally responsible for bringing a new life into this world, but the responsibility of family planning via hormonal contraception has traditionally fallen on the woman's shoulders. A new hormonal birth control shot for men sought to challenge this reality, achieving a 96.6% success rate in preventing pregnancy among 320 healthy, monogamous couples aged 18 to 45.

Testing of this male birth control has reportedly been terminated due to adverse side effects in around 20 of the 320 male participants, including "acne, injection site pain, increased libido, and mood disorders," according to the study's abstract. Despite these side effects, up to 75% of the male participants said they would continue using the shot contraceptive as a means of family birth control.

It's worth noting that the side effects sound oddly similar to those associated with the hormonal contraceptives that women have been taking since the mid-1960s—a fact that women have been quick to point out. In fact, it was recently uncovered that women taking a combined oral contraceptive were 23% more likely to be diagnosed with depression, according to a significant study from the University of Copenhagen.

"I immediately thought of the recent findings on female birth control," said Elisabeth Lloyd, a faculty scholar at the Kinsey Institute, of the termination in an interview with CNN: "20% or 30% of the women who take oral birth control pills experience depression and have to take medication for it. So the difference just struck me. They terminated this study once it showed 3% depression for the men."

What do you think of their decision to terminate the study, as well as the growing media frenzy surrounding this decision? Share your opinion in the comments below.

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