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Male Birth Control Shot Promising But Still Needs Work, Study Shows

Image: Male Birth Control Shot Promising But Still Needs Work, Study Shows

A test of a male birth control shot seems promising, but side effects show the shot still needs work. (István Csák/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 28 Oct 2016 02:30 PM

A study of men who took a male birth control shot shows the drug looks promising but also signaled more work is needed before widespread use of the shot.

The study, published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, reported only four pregnancies out of 274 couples who completed the study, but the testosterone and progesterone shots had a high number of side effects for the men who took them, according to the New York Daily News.

The men were given shots every eight weeks, which reduced their sperm count to under 1 million per milliliter, usually a safe range, though pregnancy can sometimes occur at those sperm levels.

Some medical professionals feel it is not a low enough sperm count, however.

“The sperm count goal is not that low. It should be lower,” Lenox Hill Hospital urology specialist Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler said, UPI reported. “I wonder if they had 50,000 patients in the trial, where their pregnancy rates would be.”

Another potential problem with the shots is the high incidence of side effects and adverse incidents. More than 700 side effects were reported, including acne, increased libido, muscle pain, and mood or emotional changes. Twenty men dropped out of the study because of the side effects, and the high number of adverse effects led researchers to end the study earlier than planned, UPI reported.

It took approximately 24 weeks of birth control shots for male sperm counts to drop below 1 million, and study participants used the shots as their sole birth control method for up to 56 weeks. All but eight of the men saw their sperm counts return to normal after stopping the shots.

Despite the high rate of side effects, 75 percent of men said they would take the birth control shots in the future, study leader Dr. Mario Festin of the WHO told the BBC.

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A study of men who took a male birth control shot shows the drug looks promising but also signaled more work is needed before widespread use of the shot.
male, birth control, shot, promising
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2016-30-28
Friday, 28 Oct 2016 02:30 PM
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