Trial for male contraceptive injection halted over worries about side effects

 

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By Jack Edwards

A CONTRACEPTIVE injection for men was found to be almost 96 per cent effective after a year-long trial.

After clinical tests were conducted by 16 researchers worldwide on 270 men only four of their partners were able to conceive, with three quarters of those involved in the study saying that they would continue to use the treatment.

However, side effects such as depression, mood swings and acne caused 20 men to drop out of the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Scientists though, said these side effects are also present in female forms of contraceptives.

The major factor being debated amongst medical professionals is whether the potential side effects outweigh the benefits gained by using the contraceptive with the female alternative also presenting the same possible side effects.

After the study had been completed, three per cent of males who had taken part reported that they suffered from depression due to the injections, this can be compared to 33 per cent of women who note that they suffer from depression due to their contraceptive treatments.

The injection offers a way for men to gain some control over an area of life in which they may have been lacking before now.

The contraceptive treatment however has divided opinion.

Bill Spour, a relationship works project coordinator in the north east of England said: “The injection will give males the power over their fertility, for the first time, giving them more power over when to start a family.”

Paula Walker, an NHS bank nurse, disagreed. She said: “I don’t think it will have any effect, I think males will not take the responsibility as they will believe it is a woman’s job to make sure they are protected against unwanted pregnancy.”

And Wendy Feechan, an NHS bank nurse and social worker, said: “I don’t think the injections will have any impact, most males are stuck in the belief that the responsibility is on the woman to make sure that they are on contraceptive treatment.”

Lee Wilson, a delivery driver said: “It’s all well and good having male contraceptive injections and I believe men will use them, I think the larger picture however is the fact that unlike a condom it does not help to prevent males from getting sexually transmitted diseases.”

Head researcher Dr Mario Festin said that further trials would be carried out to explore methods of reducing side effects, and other researchers were now looking into alternative methods of delivery for the contraceptive, including a gel.

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