New drug tests may put us one step closer to having a birth control method for men. According to ABC News, the drug would stop sperm production in men. Previous versions of the drug had a negative effect on the male libido (God forbid), but BMS-189453 does not appear to have an negative sex drive effects.
I have one major problem with this study: it has only been conducted on mice. I’ll save you my long-winded rant on the ethics of animal testing and limit myself to saying that until there are human studies done on male birth control methods, I’m going to save my applause.
Apparently I’m not the only one who has doubts about the efficacy of male birth control. Our very own Amy McCarthy is quoted in the ABC piece as saying that she wouldn’t trust a guy to be taking his birth control pills every day. However, she does say that for people in a long-term, committed relationship, male birth control offers the peace of mind that the couple is double dipping on protection.
There are many additional questions that this study brings up for me. First, what role can BMS-189453 play in preventing HIV, since stopping sperm production would certainly limit one mode of transmission for the HIV virus? Second, will male birth control be available in multiple applications, such as the patch, the Pill, etc., when it is approved by the FDA?
What’s your take on male birth control? Are you taking a wait and see attitude? Or do you think this is the next big thing? I’d love to hear your opinion.
Serena is a freelance writer who enjoys baking, protesting, and playing with little dogs.