For too long, the onus has been on women to both pay attention to and pay for their birth control. Now there's good news for women who want their partners to pay attention: the second male birth control pill has passed human safety tests.
In a recent study, the new pill for men was taken by healthy test subjects for a month. Researchers didn't observe any adverse reactions while the pill produced hormone levels consistent with the ones needed to keep a baby from being made.
The new contraceptive — which goes by the super sexy name 11-beta-methyl-19-nortestosterone dodecylcarbonate or 11-beta-MNTDC — works by combining two hormones: androgen (a male hormone) and progesterone (a female hormone).
"Our results suggest that this pill, which combines two hormonal activities in one, will decrease sperm production while preserving libido," Christina Wang, the study’s co-senior investigator, said.
The study involved 40 men. Ten got a placebo, and the other 30 got one of two doses of the pill. A few of the people who took the drug did notice side effects, including fatigue, acne, and headaches, but they were mild. No one stopped taking the drug because of the side effects.
Just like the female birth control pill, 28 days isn’t enough to guarantee the contraceptive effects, so more long term studies need to be done, but Wang is hopeful.
"Safe, reversible hormonal male contraception should be available in about 10 years."