Male Birth Control? Almost. 

By Liyema Mpompi 

In South Africa, we have witnessed a growing number of unwanted pregnancies and teenage pregnancies. These statistics are traced through the number of people who file for adoption and abortion. Various interventions have been made available to prevent such circumstances through contraception. 

Condoms work up to 98% of the time to block conception and also protect you from Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) like herpes and chlamydia. But if you don’t wear protection the right way every time you have intercourse, your chances for an accidental pregnancy can be surprisingly high. Some estimates put it at nearly 1 in 5. 

The ongoing debate is how far we have gotten with male birth control pills. Various attempts have been made to create a safe male birth control pill as an alternative measure of women being the only ones to take preventative medication. The first problem was participation hesitancy. We have seen men being resistant to the trials because of possible side effects. The other birth control alternatives that are being researched, are vas occlusive injected gels which are injected into the vas deferens that blocks sperm from travelling into seminar fluids. The other is a topical gel that is meant to be rubbed on your shoulders which blocks testosterone in the testicles. 

The main point is the sense of urgency to assist and reduce the national crisis of unwanted pregnancy by introducing these birth control pills and that as far, no male birth pill has been made for use as strict and thorough research is still being done. 

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