Giving Male Birth Control a Shot

Injection promises to put prevention burden on men

By Tisha Lewis
|  Monday, May 11, 2009  |  Updated 1:09 PM EDT
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Giving Male Birth Control a Shot

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Birth control has long been a woman's burden, but a new shot for men could help women put away the pill forever.

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Birth control has long been a woman's burden, but a new shot for men could help women put away the pill forever.

A new study says a testosterone-based injection for men is a highly effective and reversible birth control option.

The study gave 1,000 fertile Chinese males between the ages of 20 and 45 one shot per month over a period of two years, and the results were stunning.

"It dropped the sperm rate so that men were temporary infertile," NBC chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman said.

Miami men seemed mixed yesterday over whether they'd give it a shot.

"Sounds good, why not?" Alex T. said. "Easy, safe, right? Sounds safe, why not?

"I don't think I would take it," said Jan Sanchez. "It's something that I don't trust."

Broward General medical chief of emergency medicine Dr. Nabil El Sanadi thinks the test results look good, but more testing needs to be done.

"Male birth control in the studies published actually works, as injections in the Asian male population," Dr. Sanadi said. " More studies need to be done in caucasian men, in either Europe or the United States to actually prove effectiveness. And no studies have been done in the African population."

It sounds promising, but don't expect the shot to hit stores anytime soon. It seems the folks who fund the research for the shot aren't that interested in seeing it go further.

"It's not a very lucrative market. Obviously there's a lot of ways to control male fertility in the united States," Dr. Sanadi said. " A male going once a month for an injection, it seems like something that not attractive to do."

And even less attractive, the shot, which would likely be injected into the shoulder, has some interesting side effects, including a decreased libido and more virility.

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