Posted in education, health

Pop the Pill

Did you know that taking the pill is not only a woman’s affair but a man’s too? I didn’t either! Am here thinking that the next time they ask “are you on the pill” or if ‘accidents’ happen and they shout “I thought you were on pills,’ we should stare and shout “even you can take them.” Right?

23rd Dec 2017 on the Saturday Nation, Rachel Wambui wrote a main feature about popping the pill by men. (Forgive me, I only got the hard copy of the newspaper-no link). Some men argued a fat NO with questions like “so that I shoot blanks, it’s the woman getting pregnant not me, it’s a woman’s thing, I would rather withdraw or wait for safe days, and it will take my fertility away” yea women look at your men now, chineke! However, there were the sweet ones who said they would alternate with their loved ones “she takes this month, I take the other,” now that is what am talking about but another agreed for “I would take them so no one claims they carrying my child!” Watch out mamacitas.

Contraceptives are very complicated, let me tell you. At my age I’ve never even figured out which one would do for me when I decide to take that route. You see the thing is one must know their body well and be ready to face the consequences that come with them. Some are draining and men need to feel a pinch of this. Research indicates in the next five years we shall have men pills or injections and this shall go a long way in easing the burden off women. Some of the current and promising male contraceptive trials are:

JQI-a hormonal gel that blocks production of a protein in the testes that is essential to sperm growth decreases the number of sperms, and those that are produced don’t swim very well.

Vasalgel- a reversible non-hormonal contraceptive likened to a non-scalpel vasectomy. Unlike vasectomy, if one wishes to restore the flow of sperm, whether after months or years, the polymer is flushed out with another injection.

Adjudin-derived from a cancer drug and works by causing sperm to be released while immature. It is administered by injections.

RISUG (Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance) – it is found to be 98% effective in preventing pregnancy, doesn’t have major side effects and could cost as little as $10 in developing countries. After years of successful human trials, it is set for submission for regulatory approval.

Ultrasound- doctors have long known that heating the testes even to body temperature reduces fertility. Depending on the level of exposure, contraceptive duration ranges from six weeks to permanent.

Gamendazole- this pill’s trial derives from a cancer treatment to decrease male fertility by interrupting sperm maturation. Men taking this pill produce and release normal quantities of sperm, but the sperms are non-functional.

Testosterone and Progestin- if injected or absorbed through the skin, testosterone alters hormonal messaging and reduces production of sperm. When combined with progestin and rubbed on in gel form, a daily application has effectively suppressed sperm concentration in almost 90% of men, with few side effects. Research is exploring the best combination of testosterone and progestin to provide long acting birth control.

The Clean Sheet- a hormone free pill that decreases or eliminates semen emission while leaving the sensation of ejaculation and the pleasure of male orgasm intact. The hope is that this medication can be delivered via pills that men take before sex.

You heard it fellas, next time the contraceptive puzzle pops up let both sexual active partners discuss men and women pills because at the end of the day we trying to shush pregnancy.

In the meantime let us debate over this: are men interested in contraceptives? Would you (man) take the pills?