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Male birth control, like flying cars, just seems like one of those things we should have by now. It's the 21st century—if they can find the Higgs Boson and bring back Arrested Development, shouldn't they be able to come up with a birth control option for men that isn't a condom or a vasectomy?
It's hardly for lack of trying. There's the classic "men have millions of sperm, but women have only one egg" argument, but that's far from the only challenge. For a long time, it was widely assumed that men just wouldn't be interested, though research has since proved that assumption wrong.
"I think largely, it was a generational shift, too," says Elaine Lissner, director of the Male Contraception Information Project (MICP). "Once the Baby Boomers came into power, there was more openness to the concept, versus the generation before the Baby Boomers."
Interest in the scientific community has grown to the point that the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has hosted several conferences on developing male birth control methods. But pharmaceutical companies are the ones that will need to show interest in order for something to really get off the ground. And they've been largely hesitant, so far. Unlike a drug for, say, cancer, birth control ostensibly would be used by otherwise healthy men, which means there's a much higher bar for safety.
"I see it as they're just not willing to put their toe in the water," says Diana Blithe, program director for the Contraceptive Development Research Centers Program and the Male Contraceptive Development Program at the NICHD. "But if there was a prototype on the market, I think others would come relatively quickly. It's just [that] getting the first [one] all the way through the hurdles is a relatively long process. And it's not something that they see as an immediate return on their investment. I think that it's something that you really have to have a long vision for and companies tend not to have a very long vision... Nothing is going to get to market soon."
But the biggest challenge is that even among those pursuing male birth control, no one can seem to agree on the best way to do it. Everyone I talk to tells me three more methods I should look into. Pills, injections, implants or procedures? Hormonal or non-hormonal? After talking to many researchers and experts in the field, I compiled eight different male contraception methods that are currently in development and outlined the cost, convenience, effectiveness, reversibility and status of each, in the gallery above.
Hmmm it appears as though they forget the "Pull Out" slide...
Yea know sex with an opposite sex does make babies, in case someone did not know... I mean, just in case someone did not know. ;)
And for all the science we put upon the body to NOT make a baby, it is a large FACT that the natural bodies tries to overcome any limitations. Just consider the quantity of sperm each man makes in each ejaculation. Sure you may use birth control to delay making a baby, but the whole time the body is fighting you.
So once again, just in case you didn't know, sex makes babies.
rcbarb2 A couple problems with "pull out". The sperm tend to leak out during intercourse. And how much satisfaction does one get using this method? Consider blue balls.
If you want to have sex, expect babies. Babies is the scientific outcome of sexual intercourse, therefore the is no justifiable reason for birth control.
Actually, there is. If you want "birth control", don't stick your peepee in anyone.
Houstan we got problem
You know, it's been said that the herb neem makes a male sterile starting approx. a month after one starts ingesting it, all the way until approx. month after one stops ingesting it. Just a thought...maybe worth your investigation.
...F**K the pharmaceutical industry!
They already have a male birth control pill. It's the size of a golf ball, but you don't swallow it, you put it in your shoe. It makes you limp.
I've been using the Birthday Cake Method for 30 years. No kids for me thanks.
Trooper Bri...the most sane post yet, because who in their right mind, would want to be the State's babysitter?!
Babysitter you say? Yeah, it works through the marriage license, and the Birth certificate...It's called the doctrine of 'Parens Patriae'--look it up.
Through agreements/licenses we are ALL wards of the STATE (a legal fiction (think: graven image) ...no shit.
... and you ALL wonder how, or why, the STATE has so much authority/power over you. Pfff!
It's all plainly spelled out at Article 1, Section 10;
...For those of you who have an eye, and an ear.
If you can not take care of your own self, do not add more of your responsibility of living by creating another that is helpless for survival.
My heart and prayers go out to all the babies\children, young pregnant girls and woman who suffer.
For the "ones" that proclaim sex is ONLY for reproduction, then why do chimpanzees use it for making peace? Uh yeah right.
Comments like that are why reveal the stupidity of why some humans still worship an invisible guy in the sky that is going to come back and take u away from all the evil in this world that he created. The one who created humans and murdered all of them with a great flood. The one who created everyone and loves them so much that he is sending most of them to hell. I know he is perfect and everything he touches is perfect, except us humans. We are the devil.
Give me a break! While I respect ur right to have religion, I don't have to respect ur religion or its silly platform. How anyone in this day and age still believes in those fairy tales is an abomination to the advancement of the human race.
Since when does PopSci have so many fundamentalist Christians trolling the threads. Weird, thought y'all didn't like science...? Trolls are not Christian!
Tooper Bri, excuse my ignorance but I missed that. What's the Birthday Cake Method?
The best way to not have offsprings is to get married to a woman who hates sex. They are out there. Just ask any married guy ;-)