Male birth control study

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humankinda

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Male birth control study

Post by humankinda » Thu Nov 3, 22:35 2016

Thoughts on the recent study that was stopped? Im more concerned about the reaction of the media, driving this narrative that men are wimps.

Here's a good buzzed article on it...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.buzzfe ... trol-study

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by rowan » Fri Nov 4, 11:16 2016

The one thing I saw that was by a doctor was puzzled that they stopped it; usually there are much more dire side effects before trials are stopped (or it's a major medication working so well that ethics would say NOT giving it to the control people would be unethical). The fact that it was such a low # of participants having not terrible side effects stopped the trial entirely (despite a number of them being happy with it) is pretty weird.
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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Sonic# » Fri Nov 4, 12:01 2016

^ From what I read, the disqualifying side effect was severe depression and an attempted suicide attempt. That seems pretty serious, especially in a trial run. As the interviewee of the article I just linked acknowledges, "That was definitely more than we see with the birth control pill."

But there's still a double-standard in the stakes of using the pill. The interviewee goes on to articulate this logic: the pill may be more essential to women because they're the ones getting pregnant.
When women use a contraceptive, they're balancing the risks of the drug against the risks of getting pregnant. And pregnancy itself carries risks.
Pregnancy itself is risky, so some level of risks involving contraceptive side effects is acceptable. OK so far. But men?
But these are healthy men — they're not going to suffer any risks if they get somebody else pregnant.
But won't women suffer risks if these men get them pregnant?

So that was a point where I felt like the risks to men were being taken more seriously than risks to women. I don't think that suggests that "men are wimps," but rather that culturally they are held less responsible for any consequences of the sex they have.

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Taurwen » Fri Nov 4, 12:09 2016

I have a friend who works with trials, and she ventured the guess that because there was such a low participation number to begin with it didn't take too many drop outs to make it nonviable.

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by humankinda » Fri Nov 4, 13:33 2016

Sonic# wrote:
But won't women suffer risks if these men get them pregnant?

So that was a point where I felt like the risks to men were being taken more seriously than risks to women. I don't think that suggests that "men are wimps," but rather that culturally they are held less responsible for any consequences of the sex they have.
I'm confused about your interpretation. How does this show that risks for men are taken more seriously than women?

Men are legally held responsible for sex. They do suffer risks if they get someone else pregnant. Once they impregnate a women, then everything else is out of their hands. If the woman decides to keep the child, by law the man will have to pay child support. As how it should be. But this shows there are real risks, whether you agree the risks are comparable or not, what matters is the perception of the risk to man by the man, because then we can see there is a cost-benifit analysis to be made regarding male birth control. Granted, lookng at it objectively, the woman's risk are more grave.

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Sonic# » Fri Nov 4, 14:06 2016

The interviewee in the article and I were referring specifically to health risks. So what I'm saying doesn't apply to legal risks.

Let me try to explain this. The doctor is suggesting that it's acceptable for women to endure some risks from birth control, because the condition that birth control prevents (pregnancy) also carries substantial health risks.

Is it not also acceptable for men to endure some risks from birth control, because the condition that birth control prevents (pregnancy) also carries substantial health risks?

The only difference in these two scenarios is that in the second case the men aren't the ones getting pregnant. They do not face the immediate health risks of pregnancy. However, women still may get pregnant. The doctor suggests that women's health is irrelevant to deciding whether men should be allowed to take birth control; that only the risk to men matters in deciding whether a treatment is ethical. In this case, the health risks to men are taken more seriously than those to women, since the risks women face from pregnancy are not allowed to influence whether we deem acceptable the risks men face from taking birth control. This encourages the old view that women are primarily responsible for the health safety of heterosexual sex: they ought to use birth control, insist on condoms, and otherwise put more thought into preventing STIs and pregnancy.

Someone might say that it's not fair to give treatments or advice that pose some risk to a patient but primarily prevent risking someone else's health. Yet that's one rationale for offering flu vaccinations to relatively healthy people who work with children or the elderly. An elementary school teacher may merely get sick; their kids face a greater risk of serious complications. Vaccinations for HPV have a similar rationale: women are more likely to get cervical cancer, but both men and women are carriers for the infection, so even though women face a greater risk for HPV everyone ought to have access to the vaccine.

I don't think men are obligated to undergo a treatment that poses some risk to their health, whether it benefits their own bodies or not. I still think it should be allowed, particularly if the side effects are similar to those women already face with birth control methods. If the symptoms are relatively equivalent to the Pill, let men make that decision.
I have a friend who works with trials, and she ventured the guess that because there was such a low participation number to begin with it didn't take too many drop outs to make it nonviable.
If that's the case, I hope they begin testing again soon. Most of the men in the trial said they would use the product if it were on the market.

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by melsbells » Fri Nov 4, 15:32 2016

I first heard about this when reading the same article that Sonic read. Other than the headline/blurb being a bit misleading as to the severity of the side effects, I didn't read the reaction that humankinda mentioned in the media. I don't get around much on the Internet though.

This made me wonder if the way uterus havers are prescribed birth control will change, bigger promotion of options with less side effects. Though maybe that's already happening with how popular the hormonal IUD has become.

I'm also curious as to why the birth control for men developed as starting with injections as opposed to something more localized.

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Aum » Sat Nov 5, 18:17 2016

A couple of the men who partook in the study did not become fertile again after the treatment was stopped, even after 12 months. You can't compare this to female contraception, the mechanism is completely different.

When the pill for women first came out there were initial findings that it caused depression and mood disorders, including some suicides. But the clinical trials got pushed through by the FDA and the pill made it to market where it basically became a mass experiment. It was recently revealed that these side effects were real, it just took 50 freakin' years to finally vindicate women who were told for decades it was just "in their heads". So I can understand why women are a bit peeved that AS SOON AS it was discovered there were side effects for men it got into the mainstream media instantly. Kind of unfair.

I support everyone's sovereign right to use contraception if they want but personally I would not trust these chemical measures.
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Re: Male birth control study

Post by rowan » Sat Nov 5, 20:32 2016

Ah ok the side effects I had read were not as severe as that.

But what Aum says about women and depression totally is true too. So I think maybe we shouldn't necessarily say that particular one is less in women... that said, I think it would be one you could (if you didn't *cough cough* fucking ignore the possibility) watch for and if it's working for you, great. It doesn't have that affect on me, so I've been pretty happy overall with it.
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Re: Male birth control study

Post by humankinda » Sat Nov 5, 20:50 2016

Sonic# wrote:The interviewee in the article and I were referring specifically to health risks. So what I'm saying doesn't apply to legal risks.
Yes, youre right, legal risks are irrelevant here.

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Meperidine » Mon Nov 21, 19:35 2016

When I first saw this story, it was the "side effects like mood swings and acne were found to be unbearable" type reporting that humankinda was concerned about. I admit, I bought into it without looking further, and got really pissed off. 2.5 years ago my birth control pill caused a massive blood clot in both of my lungs. That means that for six years, starting in my teens, I was on a medication that is known to have potentially lethal side effects. I knew not to hold my breath for RISUG or other penile birth control to come out. But I had to see it as a potential alternative to our current BC methods, which interfere with ovulation and are therefore complicated and risky. So then I saw these articles about the cancelled study, and I thought, wait, I've been living with a mood disorder for as long as I can remember, and I used a birth control method that was known to have potentially lethal side effects, then suffered and survived one of those side effects and went through a year of tough recovery, and mood swings and acne are unbearable?


I've now learned more about what was wrong with the study and I regret falling for the headline bait. But much as Sonic said, there is a double standard at work. I think we need alternatives to our current BC that targets ovulation, and I think people with penises ought to have birth control options for their own sakes as well, so how about we make this a priority? That's my take.
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Re: Male birth control study

Post by lexiewalt » Wed Dec 21, 8:04 2016

Double-standard or not, I'm afraid that as a woman I would NEVER rely on a man to remember to take a pill. I mean, let's face it, my partner can't even "remember" to take a pill when he's got a headache :) !

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Taurwen » Thu Dec 22, 21:16 2016

I don't think that's a woman/man thing so much as a person/person thing. I don't remember to take my pills every day. I wouldn't rely on my partner to for something as important as birth control simply because I wouldn't, not because he (or his gender) fail at pills.

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by lexiewalt » Sat Dec 24, 6:21 2016

I suppose I didn't explain myself. I wouldn't rely on a man for birth control full stop. The pill thing was an example.

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by rowan » Sat Dec 31, 10:44 2016

I would, but I've got a man who is worth that trust. As with any relationship, you bring to it what you've got; distrust can be one of those things you got (and that can totally be valid, or it can be a weird societal construct). But of course, we also have to recognize when we want that trust as women and the distrust gets thrown at us all the time. I think it's an interesting thing to throw that narrative of distrust over birth control back at men.
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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Pikachu » Sat Dec 31, 11:19 2016

Yeah I'll take "progestogen" the day women have to take male hormones for birth control. :dance2:

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by rowan » Sat Dec 31, 11:31 2016

many tissues producing steroids, including the adrenal glands, testes, and ovaries, produce progestogens.
Removing your balls, then?
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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Pikachu » Sat Dec 31, 12:29 2016

rowan wrote:
many tissues producing steroids, including the adrenal glands, testes, and ovaries, produce progestogens.
Removing your balls, then?
They produce it in minute quantities. In dose dependent larger quantities it is sometimes used in a Male to Female transsexual HRT regimen : https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php?topic=139571.0

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Sonic# » Sat Dec 31, 14:40 2016

^ I took rowan's post to illustrate that progestogens are not "female hormones" since both men and women produce them, so your declarative statement that you would take none until women took "male hormones" for birth control doesn't work.

It's especially interesting that progesterone (the natural counterpart to progestogens like the "norethisterone" used in the shot) is produced by testes as they produce testosterone. Another interesting detail: females on birth control, females in the follicular stage of a menstrual cycle, and males have roughly the same range of progesterone production. At the very least, this indicates that considerable fudging is required to imagine that progestogens aren't a vital hormone in men but are a vital hormone in women, or that we can consider the sexual features these hormones bring about without also considering the complex processes that allow progestogens to develop breast tissue in the presence of estrogen in some (usually female) bodies but to encourage the production of testosterone in other (usually male) bodies.

I understand being wary that a pill may mess with your hormonal balance in general. I am too, and so I'm glad the study linked to in the OP's article was done and that more studies will be done. But women already mess with their hormonal balance for the sake of birth control, post-menopausal supplements, and so on. A shot of testosterone and progestogen hasn't produced symptoms of developing female sex characteristics in men in that previous study, so comparing this shot to HRT treatments seems like a huge exaggeration.

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Pikachu » Sun Jan 1, 17:10 2017

Sonic# wrote:^ I took rowan's post to illustrate that progestogens are not "female hormones" since both men and women produce them, so your declarative statement that you would take none until women took "male hormones" for birth control doesn't work.
In the quantities provided in these pills they're female hormones. Or more accurately , feminizing hormones. Men may naturally produce progesterone, but by your logic because women naturally produce testosterone also, women should have no problem taking exogenous testosterone in their birth control

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Sonic# » Sun Jan 1, 20:37 2017

Or more accurately , feminizing hormones.
No they aren't. Producing feminine qualities isn't among the side effects.

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Pikachu » Sun Jan 1, 21:38 2017

Sonic# wrote:
Or more accurately , feminizing hormones.
No they aren't. Producing feminine qualities isn't among the side effects.
I don't see it saying they took MRI's or any other form of brain scan in order to know that.

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Nech » Mon Jan 2, 9:16 2017

Pikachu wrote:I don't see it saying they took MRI's or any other form of brain scan in order to know that.
So in other words, you're guessing? Since they haven't taken an MRI to prove/disprove it?

Should also be noted that if you're on feminizing hormones the effects are pretty noticeable physically in a majority of cases.
Where there's smoke, there's fire. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. So just shut up, and bring some water.

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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Enigma » Mon Jan 2, 12:22 2017

Nech wrote:
Pikachu wrote:I don't see it saying they took MRI's or any other form of brain scan in order to know that.
So in other words, you're guessing? Since they haven't taken an MRI to prove/disprove it?

Should also be noted that if you're on feminizing hormones the effects are pretty noticeable physically in a majority of cases.
What exactly are you expecting to see on an MRI? Gender differences between brains really isn't that stark.
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Re: Male birth control study

Post by Nech » Mon Jan 2, 20:55 2017

Enigma wrote:What exactly are you expecting to see on an MRI? Gender differences between brains really isn't that stark.
Also this --^
Where there's smoke, there's fire. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. So just shut up, and bring some water.

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