This entry was posted on March 29, 2012 by Ella Dawn McGeough. It was filed under Daily .
Whoa so….so much to comment on here….
I remember learning about male contraceptive strategy in an endocrinology class. It is also very simple to block male sperm production by inhibiting a single hormone called FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone). At the time it was being made as an every day pill (similar to the female version of the pill). The female pill regulates estrogen and progesterone…hormones that also do a huge number of other things and which incur side effects when altered (white fat deposition, mood, headaches, appetite etc….). In drug parlance these are called off-target effects. However, FSH does only one thing in men: finalize sperm tail development. So blocking it has no off-target effects for men and results in him making dud sperm that can’t go anywhere.
So why wasn’t it brought to market? I don’t know if it failed clinical trails, but at the time it was supposed to be a glory drug. The issues, at the time, were supposedly social:
1) Adherence. Since they don’t carry the baby and do frequently make babies and leave, men were suspected to be non-adherent to the drug. We already have enough trouble getting women to adhere to a daily dose of contraceptive and they are the ones who finally face the responsibility of conception.
2) Responsibility: it was assumed that men would lie about taking the pill to convince women to have unprotected sex. Increasing both unwanted births and STD transmission.
3) Market: Men just won’t take things to interfere with their swimmers. They are weird and defensive about their virility, most men freaked out at the thought of ‘damaging’ their sperm (including those in my class). The only projected market was within committed couples who wanted a cheap, effective and side-effect free way of preventing pregnancy.
It was an interesting debate that left me convinced (mostly from the input of the male part of the class) that contraception would remain the female responsibility. A lot of feminists have commented openly on the gender implications of conception responsibility being centred on the person who ultimately does not carry the child.
I have a couple questions about the article….
– Baking soda and water will solubilize the epoxy block? Okay…that suggests to me that it takes a dose of basic solution to degrade the epoxy….isn’t ejaculate very basic? Wouldn’t that wear it down?
– What happens to all the other secreted products in ejaculate? Where do the go and what are the long term implications for backing up the system?
-How in the hell would this prevent HIV? There is a lot that goes into ejaculate besides sperm, and you can’t block it all….also, HIV is carried in any bodily fluid. that sounds like pie in the sky from an ignorant blogger.
April 1, 2012 at 16:50
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