Pharmaceutical

Scientists working on birth control device for men

For women, choosing a birth control method is complicated. For starters, birth control pills carry a frightening list of warnings on their safety labels. While the risks are considered remote, it’s hard to trust drug companies when they say their medication is safe. Just look at the thousands of lawsuits drug maker Bayer is facing over its top-selling oral contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin. The lawsuits claim the pharmaceutical company didn’t warn users that they were at even greater risk for deadly blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.

It’s time women put the burden of contraception on the men.

A team of Indian scientists is working to do just that – develop a birth control method for men. This experimental contraceptive is reversible and far less invasive than a vasectomy. It works by inhibiting sperm with a tiny electrically charged polymer inserted into a man’s testicles. When negatively charged sperm pass by the polymer, their cell membranes rupture and the tails are damaged. This cripples the sperm and leaves them unable to fertilize. The device reportedly does not inhibit libido nor does it diminish sperm count.

The device is still in the testing phases and effectiveness is still being determined. Researchers will also have to gauge whether the device is linked to any unwanted pregnancies or birth defects. At the very least, it offers a new alternative for men who are willing to step up and take responsibility for quelling unwanted pregnancies.