Friday, June 5, 2009

Male Contraceptive Injection Offers More Choices and Equal Responsibility

The quest for alternative forms of male contraception has been a long one. Experts in China are close to developing a reliable and “potent” male contraception injection. Fertility doctors in Beijing completed an extensive study consisting of 1,045 males aged 20-45 years. All of the men who participated in the study were fertile, and had fathered at least 1 child. During the 1.5 year study, the male participants were injected with a 500mg testosterone formulation each month. There were no serious side effects reported by the participants. The shot proved to be 98.9 % effective throughout the duration of the study. Obviously, this rate isn’t as high as one would like; however, it is a good start.

With a male contraceptive shot close to becoming a reality, certain questions need to be asked. Who is responsible for preventing unwanted pregnancy? The female pill, invented in 1960, has put the brunt of contraceptive responsibility on women. And some maintain that because only women can become pregnant, it is up to them to prevent it. However, in a true egalitarian relationship, both partners would take responsibility to prevent pregnancy.

In some relationships, there is a lack of conversation regarding sex, with even less discussion devoted to conception prevention. The creation of a male injection opens the door for more dialogue, and provides couples with more options. Plus, having more ways to prevent pregnancies could eventually mean fewer abortions and fewer children up for adoption.

The concept of “choice” in reproductive health is a beautiful thing, as is having more contraceptive choices and the diffusion of responsibility.

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