When it comes to taking charge of one's reproductive fate, women have had reliable birth control methods for decades now. For men the story is completely different. Though not for lack of trying, the medical establishment has failed to produce a consistently reliable method of contraception that is both non-permanent and healthy for men to take. But research coming out of Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center could change that via a simple gel applied directly to the skin.
An ultrasound zap to the testicles can stop the production of sperm, reducing overall sperm count to a level that would render males infertile, according to a new study involving rats. Further studies are still needed to test how long this new contraceptive method would last, and whether infertility could be reversed. But for the researchers studying rat and monkey testicles, the early results are pretty gratifying.
You aren't yourself anymore. It's a familiar complaint heard by women who have recently gone on birth control pills. Now studies are providing evidence for what many of those women, and the men who love them, have long known intuitively: the pill can alter the female brain, making a woman act like a different person.
Marijuana, ultrasound, and now mouse sex: the quest for a male birth control method has taken some weird turns.
The latest contender for the elusive male pill is an Israeli scientist who says he has developed a compound that temporarily inhibits the reproductive capacity of sperm, reports Israel21C.
The birth control pill turns 50 this month -- the birth control pill for women, that is. While researchers have searched for a hormonal contraceptive pill for men for at least that long, so far they've been unsuccessful. Men produce a thousand sperm each second versus the monthly female egg, making the male reproductive process harder to control. But researchers think they may have finally found a safe and simple means of temporarily stopping sperm production using a common clinical device: ultrasound.
The male birth control pill has lingered for years tantalizingly just out of reach, in the realm where rumor meets science. Recently developed hormonal and mechanical contraceptives never found an audience, serving only to highlight the absence of a male pill. Now, an examination of how smoking pot lowers fertility may make the male pill more than a persistent rumor.
When it comes to contraception, women have their pick of techniques. In addition to sperm-blocking barriers and foreign objects in the uterus (IUDs), there are about a million ways to pump extra hormones into the bloodstream (pill, patch, ring, shot, or implant).
For men, it's always been pretty much condoms or a vasectomy.