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MaleContraceptionCtr2765 karma

Good question. First off, side effects encountered in our trials are uncommon and none have ever been serious. To be more specific, some of the side effects we've noticed in the Phase 1 studies we've conducted include: mild/moderate acne, weight gain (muscle or fat), fatigue, and changes in libido/sexual desire (up or down), as well as changes in cholesterol levels. Not all participants respond the same way, and these side effects were classified as mild subjectively (no one discontinued because of side effects) but these are things we are working on minimizing in future studies, by choosing the appropriate dose. Many of these side effects (changes in mood, libido, weight, and acne) have been encountered by women on the female oral contraceptive pill, and over the years formulations have improved to minimize those adverse effects. The majority of men who've been part of our trials have found the drugs acceptable and have even gone on to be part of other male contraceptive trials. We're optimistic.

MaleContraceptionCtr820 karma

A lot of the men in our trials got interested in male contraception because they had negative experiences with their female partners' birth control...sometimes they were just worried that their partners WEREN'T TAKING their birth control. Given that we're dealing with hormonal methods, we're expecting similar situations to occur with men w/ respect to mild changes in mood/libido/etc. However, everyone is different and not everyone is going to experience side effects; the goal we're shooting for is for both men and women in a relationship to have an opportunity to try a hormonal contraceptive and decide together who'll use contraception...or maybe both will or maybe they'll switch off, who knows?

MaleContraceptionCtr469 karma

Great question. I'm a gynecologist and specialist in family planning; can certainly elaborate on u/Lawnmover_Man's response.

When female contraceptives were being developed, risks were justified by the exponentially greater physical risks that women already experienced from unintended pregnancy (e.g. hemorrhage, seizures, blood clots, infection, and death). Consequently, the initial side effects from higher doses of female hormonal contraceptive pills e.g. nausea/vomiting and then even venous thromboembolism could still be justified for still being less risky than an unintended pregnancy. Despite its side effects, the female contraceptive pill was thus one of the most revolutionary medications to ever be invented.

Fast forward decades later, we now have numerous options that are safer than the original female contraceptive pills and have rapidly advanced our ability to care for pregnant women such that the bar is set much higher for new medications, inclusive of male contraceptives. The standards of conduct for clinical research are so much more rigid, with the safety of the user as a primary priority, such that new male methods undergo intensely rigorous, expensive testing that previous female methods had not undergone until recently. We know so much more about the human endocrine system now that we are compelled to test for all parameters that can be influenced by male contraception, inclusive of cardiovascular, bone, prostate health. It's not enough that male contraception just be able to stop sperm. Additionally, from an industry standpoint...more intense scrutiny is needed of male contraception b/c it's a medication that is given to a healthy male that can potentially cause side effects or adverse events; if a man doesn't use it, no harm done to himself...versus if a woman doesn't use it, she may become unintentionally pregnant. Consequently, there's greater medico-legal risk entailed by pharmaceutical investment in male contraceptives. That's not a good enough excuse to not make a method that men want though.

MaleContraceptionCtr399 karma

Hey there, thanks for your question. Unfortunately there are lots of couples who can't find a female hormonal method of contraception that works for them. That's why we're so driven to develop a new method of birth control for men. Numerous human trials have been conducted across our global networks, including trials of hormonal injections, oral pills, topical gels, and even subdermal implants -- at this point it's finding the perfect drug combination and the perfect dose. All trials show reversible inhibition of your body's testosterone production, which is repleted by the testosterone in the male hormonal contraceptives. In the most recent study of a month long regimen of oral pills, men started repleting their own testosterone upon stopping the medication and the majority will get back to normal levels within 3 weeks.

MaleContraceptionCtr304 karma

In human clinical trials, participants also receive a digital rectal exam to assess the size and contour of the prostate to detect other changes to the prostate that may be indicative of cancer. These exams have not shown any changes and some men find them somewhat uncomfortable.