Male Birth Control Pills Could Soon Be A Reality

Because birth control isn’t just a woman’s responsibility.

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Contraception for men hasn’t progressed beyond condoms and vasectomies in decades. Condoms can fail and vasectomies are not temporary and include an invasive surgery. We’ve been hearing about contraceptive pills in the works for a long time now, but only recently have they passed the final tests that determine if they’re fit for consumption.

This comes as good news for both men and women. Because for all these decades, the onus of oral birth control has fallen on women. And there have been no choices available for men.

Related: 5 Contraception Methods And What You Need To Know About Them

In March, scientists announced that the male birth control pill that they’d been working on had passed human safety tests in a 28-day trial without any participants dropping out from side effects. The pill works in the form of a combination of hormones that inhibit sperm production while preventing any negative side effects that might be caused by fluctuating and modified hormone levels.

But we can’t rejoice just yet. The pill is still to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which means it’ll be a while before it hits the market. And even longer before affordable options are available here in Pakistan. Doctors have given it an estimate of 10 years before it’s available for consumption.

But until then it’s important to spread awareness about it and start a much-needed conversation on male birth control. For a long time, the responsibility of birth control measures has been on the shoulders of women. They’ve had to deal with IUDs, patches, vaginal rings and pills. The least invasive of these has been the oral contraceptive pill which has given women a lot of hormonal problems, such as, depression, weight gain, break outs. So now that we have a gentler option for men, maybe birth control will not only be a woman’s responsibility.

Related: Why Newly-Wedded Couples Should Use Contraceptives

However, it is important to remember that the only thing that prevents transfer of STIs and other diseases is condoms. So even if someone is on the pill, it’s crucial to use condoms.

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