Pill for the man

The pill for men - often desired, long researched, but still not available. Find out the reasons!

Pill for the man

For decades scientists have been researching the Pill for the man, But to date there is no preparation for male contraception. Often, the side effects of the hormonal or non-hormonal drugs studied indicate a market launch. So for the time being only the condom or the sterilization for the prevention remains for the man. Read more about the current state of the pill for men here.

Desire for pill for the man

For a long time women have been calling for men to take more responsibility for contraception. The side effects of pharmacological contraception are from the point of view of many women not just loaded on the female shoulders. Couples should have the freedom to choose who should risk the side effects of a hormonal contraceptive in a relationship.

Men are also increasingly expressing their desire to participate more actively in family planning. Between 50 and 70 percent of men in countries of Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia are for the pharmacological pill for men.

So far, however, such is not available: Although researchers have been trying for decades to bring a pill for men on contraception on the market. But so far without success. How can this be explained?

Side effects greater than the benefits

The contraceptive pill for the man is not similar to the pill for the woman. Because: A drug is always developed to bring the affected person a benefit, for example, to treat diseases or prevent pregnancies. The benefit should always exceed the potential risks (side effects).

In a man, scientists start from a healthy person who would not benefit directly from pharmacological contraception. Side effects (such as depression or loss of libido), the various approaches to the pill for the man in experiments but have been shown. This means a very unfavorable benefit-risk ratio - the side effects far outweigh. Frequently, therefore, research on different types of pill for the man stopped and the industry stopped its support to relevant research projects.

Pill for the man: What is being researched?

So far, various preparations of a pill for men were examined. On the one hand, hormonal contraceptives are under the scientific microscope, on the other hand non-hormonal. With both approaches, the developers intend to suppress sperm production or motility of the sperm.

Hormone pill for men: testosterone

The male hormone testosterone is in the focus of trying to inhibit sperm production. Normally neurotransmitters of the brain (follicle stimulating hormone = FSH, luteinizing hormone = LH) stimulate the production of testosterone in the testes. The hormone in turn starts sperm production. If testosterone is administered to the male body (for example, via a syringe, a skin patch or implant), it is distributed in the blood. The brain then receives the signal that sufficient testosterone is present and FSH and LH are not needed. In the absence of these messengers, the testes do not produce their own testosterone and consequently no sperm. To completely eliminate sperm production, however, it also requires other hormones such as progestogens.

This variant of a pill for men has a Pearl index of 1.1 and can thus protect with similar certainty from pregnancy as the pill for the woman. The effect of the added testosterone ceases when the drug is discontinued. Side effects included acne, night sweats, decreased libido, depression and weight gain. The side effects occur too frequently, which is why the use of testosterone and progestins in the form of the pill for the man rather unrealizable.

In addition to testosterone, there are several other male sex hormones that can be considered as a pill for men, such as MENT or DMAU. However, scientific studies are still lacking in terms of their effect, side effects, safety and application.

Non-hormonal contraception

The man's pill could also be offered in non-hormonal form to inhibit the production or maturation of the sperm or the motility of the sperm. Some possible substances are currently being tested. Gossypol, an active ingredient of the cotton plant, was a candidate, but the men remained infertile after discontinuation of the drug. Further studies were therefore stopped.

Other drugs such as indenopyridine, lonidamine, JQ1, BMS-189453 and WIN 18,446, HE6 or CRISP-1 are currently considered to be potential drugs, but they need further research.

Pill for the man: patience necessary

The development of a pill for men is therefore so difficult because you have to find an ingredient that makes a man temporarily, but not permanently infertile. The side effects must remain within the benefits. To make matters worse, the pharmaceutical industry has withdrawn as a sponsor for further research. On the Pill for the man So we have to wait a bit longer.

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