Birth Control for Men?

Birth control for men: New research shows that the JQ1 molecule can make men temporarily infertile, which could help formation of effective male contraception; Susan Wysocki of iWoman's Health weighs in

Could a male birth control pill really be heading toward a pharmacy near you? Quite possibly, according to recent news.

While working on cancer inhibitor research, James Bradner, of Harvard University's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, says he realized that molecule, named JQ1, can also inhibit a protein in the male testes that is imperative to fertility. So far, this has only been tested in mice, but the findings could be revolutionary, and human testings may begin in a year.

So how would this revolutionize the way women and men approach contraception and birth control? We reached out to Susan Wysocki, WHNP, FAANP and President at iWoman's Health to get her thoughts. Here's what she said...

One of the most common questions I get when lecturing about contraception is "when will there be a method for men?"

The discovery that JQ1 originally being tested for treatment of cancer but found to inhibit sperm production sounds the most promising yet. But it will be a long time before it is tested and even longer, assuming it works, to get it to market. Let's hope there is something for men.

The most common comment I hear is, "Yes, but would you trust a man to say he is protected?"

Unless a man uses a condom, he is vulnerable to an unintended pregnancy and the responsibility that goes with it. Birth control methods for women are not perfect, particularly those that rely on correct and consistent use. So a man might ask the same question: "Can I be sure that she is using her birth control correctly?"

Either way, a reversible male method of contraception would provide a shift in paradigm where men can think of contraception to protect themselves from unintended life-changing events. If there was something other than condoms or vasectomy, it could change the way that men look at the vulnerability they have relying on someone else for protection. That could bring about a major shift in how unintended pregnancy is viewed.

Click here to learn more about the science behind male birth control...

Related stories on genConnect:

How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex, by Margery Fridstein
Condom Use Up Among Teen Boys; 'Not Your Grandfather's Condom'
Health Care Reform - What Unintended Pregnancies Really Cost the U.S.
Contraception Shopping Should Be Taken Just as Seriously as Shoe Shopping

About the author:
Susan Wysocki is the President at iWoman's Health, which highlights insight, information and interconnections about health issues for women.