Male contraceptive study at a standstill due to adverse side effects

A study testing a male contraceptive has been halted due to side effects on the participants

A male contraceptive injection has proven 96 per cent effective in lowering sperm count to prevent unplanned pregnancies in couples ages 18-45 during a year long trial.

Despite the efficiency of the hormone-based injection, of the 266 men who completed the trial, there was a reported 1491 adverse effects. A total of 900 of these effects were reported to be caused by the injection.

Side effects such as acne and mood swings are typically cited as caused by hormonal contraceptives, however, during the trial just under half of men reported an increase of acne. Other hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, are known for reducing the chances of acne.

Participants also fell subject to side affects such as muscle pain and mood disorders.

Thirty eight per cent reported an increased libido, to the point of inappropriateness. During the trial there was a death by suicide, however, researchers said that it was unrelated to the trial.

Due to serious side effects such as depression and mood disorders, in conjunction with the increase of more minor side effects such as acne, the Phase II of the trial was called to a halt by external examiners in March 2011.

Following the halt of the study and a minimum recovery time of 12 weeks, most men returned to fertility. However, after 52 weeks of recovery, eight participants had not returned to fertility.

In spite of the side effects, 75 per cent of the men who completed the trial said they would continue to use the injection as their only form of contraception.

The results of the trial were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism on October, 27th 2016. Following this, many women have expressed outrage on social media about the trial’s cancellation, saying the side effects were similar to those experienced by women taking the contraceptive pill in the 1960s.

Doug Colvard, PhD, co-author of the study said that “by far the vast majority of the men continued in the study even though they were experiencing mild or moderate adverse events.”

Lucy Mangan

Image Credit: Independent.co.uk

 

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