For as long as women have had babies, it seems like the responsibility birth control has fallen squarely on their shoulders. We do all the damn work carrying the kid, delivering the kid, and tending to its needs for the first few months of life. So of course, let’s make preventing a pregnancy 100% our job too! Well, not anymore, fellas! A new male contraceptive gel is going into clinical trials in 2018. This could be a game-changer for contraception, and we are ready for it.
The male contraceptive gel will undergo a 4 year clinical trial in 2018, with 400 couples from around the world.
How it works is pretty straightforward. It’s a topical gel, but you don’t apply it to your genitals (sorry, guys). Instead, the gel is meant to be rubbed into the upper arm and shoulder twice a day. That’s it! So easy! Men will complain about this so loudly!
The gel contains two hormones, progestin and testosterone. The progestin tells the testes to stop producing sperm for a period of time. The testosterone helps stop any hormonal imbalances from blocking the testes from producing the hormone naturally.
Dr. Stephanie Page, lead investigator for the trial and a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, has a good feeling about this topical male contraceptive gel. She told MIT Technology Review, “I am very confident that if men put the gel on every day and apply it correctly, it will be effective”.
While getting a male contraceptive into clinical trials is a great first step, it’s not the only hurdle the birth control will face.
Men’s attitudes about their role in pregnancy prevention are iffy, at best. Only 25% of men said they would consider taking a hormonal contraceptive. But some researchers are hopeful that those views are changing. Régine Sitruk-Ware, a scientist at the Population Council, believes that younger men will be open to using a contraceptive drug. “This is about gender equity,” she says. “Men would also like to be able to regulate their own fertility and not be forced into fatherhood.”
Even if the trials are successful, it would still be years before the gel is available to the public. What say you, readers? Would you want your partner to be in charge of contraception for once?
Also read: 13 Funniest Vasectomy Memes
(Image: GIPHY; iStock / AndreyCherkasov)