When will the "Male Birth Control Pill" or "Male IUD" be a reality?
July 25, 2013 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Realistically speaking, how long will it be until a male version of The Pill or The IUD is available in the US and approved by all the necessary government/health organizations?
posted by evil otto to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Response by poster: (and no, I do not count vasectomy as an option)
posted by evil otto at 4:00 PM on July 25, 2013

a male version of The Pill or The IUD

Can you explain more specifically what you're looking for here. Temporary reversible birth control options? Would a reversible vasectomy count? Have you read the Male Contraceptives website? This article on male contraception form last year suggests that since there is now money being poured into this topic and it discusses what the most currently viable options are.
posted by jessamyn at 4:06 PM on July 25, 2013 [3 favorites]

They're making some neat strides in the research on this, but so far most of the options have questionable efficacy or have undesirable effects on the individual, so until these are addressed I don't think you will see them being approved any time soon.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:26 PM on July 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yeah, I'm interested in something reversible, minimally invasive, and maximally effective. I wouldn't count vasectomy, since it requires surgery and isn't always reversible.

I'm not basing any personal decisions on this, it's more a matter of curiosity.
posted by evil otto at 4:35 PM on July 25, 2013

Depending on who you ask, they are "on the verge."
posted by craven_morhead at 5:03 PM on July 25, 2013

They have been "on the verge" since at least 1998 when I was writing a paper on this for college. Not a damn one of them has progressed a bit since then "because there's no market." Your answer is "probably never, but definitely not in your sexual lifetime." Sorry. I hate it too.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:45 PM on July 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

Vasalgel and RISUG are the most compelling approaches so far (to me). Trials are already happening in other countries. I remain optimistic that it will happen in my lifetime :)
posted by wemayfreeze at 7:25 PM on July 25, 2013

Ten years is optimistic verging on misguided, and even then you probably would have to go to another continent to get it. There's not really anything around the corner.

Even if one of the prototypes kicking around today was 100% ready to go, which is not the case, the FDA approval process for a surgical procedure or pharmaceutical that won't be covered by insurance or Medicare... would take at least 5 years.

Probably longer.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 10:26 PM on July 25, 2013

I very nearly ended up working in a research lab devoted to reversible male birth control. I went to medical school instead. The PI for the lab was working with a specific agent that, at that time, was designed as a chemotherapy agent with the unusual side effect of affecting Sertoli cells (the exact mechanism escapes me now). Anyway... that was 6 years ago, and every now and then, I look him up on Pubmed, and his agent is nowhere close.
posted by honeybee413 at 11:47 PM on July 25, 2013

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