Episode 4: Hormonal Male Birth Control
In this installment of Dr. D’s Discussions, Lee and I take a look at the biological underpinnings of hormonal male birth control and examine the study “Efficacy and Safety of an Injectable Combination Hormonal Contraceptive for Men”. We begin the discussion by examining the differences between the male and female reproductive systems with a focus on the Hypothalmic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis. The comparison between the male and female reproductive systems gives insight into why a hormonal male birth control has been so difficult to develop.
We describe the blocking of one egg cell per month versus 1,500 sperm per second as attackers on a castle. It is much easier to defend a castle (pregnancy) against one soldier per month than it is 1,500 per second. The study is examined through the eyes of biomedical researchers, and we examine the adverse effects the news and mainstream media decried as men being weak through this lens, as well. At the end of the discussion, we examine the social ramifications of ending the study, why male birth control is unpopular to develop, and why females in our society are burdened with the responsibility of taking birth control.
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