GENEVA, Switzerland (CBS) — Birth control shots for men are an effective form of contraception but the side effects are a problem.

An international study just found they’re almost as effective as the pill for women. It was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

ALSO READ: California Gov. Brown Approves Dispensing 1-Year Supply Of Birth Control

The injections work by using hormones to drastically lower sperm count.

Of the 266 married men who participated in the study, only 4 became fathers.

Sounds promising but the gender gap in contraceptive use may not close anytime soon.

For one thing the pharmaceutical companies aren’t throwing a whole lot of money at the idea.

ALSO READ: California Women Can Get Birth Control From Pharmacy Without Prescription

“Their concern may be there’s a lack of profitability, maybe there is a question of gender bias,” says CBS medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula. “There’s a concern of regulatory hurdles. In addition, it’s not as easy to stop 1,500 sperm that are produced per second as opposed to one egg per month.”

Another concern are the side effects. Researchers actually stopped the study early due to mood changes and depression in some of the participants.

Researchers say other side effects were acne, injection site pain, and increased libido.

Comments (72)
  1. And what are the side effects women who take “the pill” been dealing with?

  2. Vicky Kahn says:

    Aren’t these the same side effects women deal with when they get the shot Depo???

  3. And??? Birth control for us gave us acne, depression, mood swings, weight gain and somehow that’s due able for us?! God forbid men experience it too. smh

    1. Right. Two wrongs make a right. You would be better advised t deal with the fact you appear to be a misanthrope than worry about what is happening to others

    2. Jeffrey Gee says:

      As long as it doesn’t affect your ability to make me a sandwich, then sounds good to me! JK

  4. Now this is interesting. First something men can’t ‘forget’. It slows down the sperm count yet increases libido? So you get more…. jiggy does that in fact increase your chance of having a baby? Surely they could decrease the sperm count to zero perhaps ? and the side effects? Well… You have the expect that but it’s better than what happens after you have 3 children and another one coming LOL


  5. aww poor babies, women contraceptive have side affects too, and so does unwanted pregnancies. wwwaaaaaaaa

    1. Bev, you’ll be the only crying when you discover that your obedient husband no longer puts up with your hormonally induced childish bullisht because he’s got mood issues that rival yours to deal with.

  6. Sooo, basically the same side effects as birth control for females then.

  7. At least their side effects don’t (so far) include an increased risk of cancer, which some forms of female birth control do. And they seriously “stopped the trial” because of mood swings and depression? Women have had those exact same side effects from birth control for decades, and I don’t see anyone being that concerned about it. I don’t generally mock people, but I kind of want to call them cry babies for not being tougher than that. Mood swings. Pshht.

    1. To be fair it doesnt include much info. It could in fact increase the risk of Prostate Cancer in men. If it has to with male sex hormones theres a good chance it does.

      1. Brennon Dean says:

        It likely would due to aromatization.

        These are anabolic steroids. The comments here are a little funny–this is actually the same argument that bodybuilders and athletes have been using for a long time now. They typically argue that the side effects aren’t a big deal, while the public at large will tell you that use of steroids will quickly kill you. If we frame the conversation as “birth control”, (which to be accurate, female birth control is also a steroid) it suddenly changes everything.

      2. Peter welcome to our World. I think its about time men took on the responsibilities of birth control. Maybe this way men will stop telling us how we can manage our bodies for once…

  8. Oh booo hoooo – women have taken birth control for decades, dealing with all kinds of cancer, organ dropping, etc., so a little pain in the injection spot?! Let them push a baby out of something that used to be a normal size, let them have their hips dislocate to deliver, have themselves poked and prodded for over nine months, only to finally give birth and have strangers push on their bellies to get the after birth to come completely out. Go home with a screaming baby that has to be fed every two hours while their wives go to work, with the girls after work in some ‘business meeting’ and when his wife gets home have her ask ‘so….what have you been doing all day’ and eventually sleep around on him because ‘he’s not the beautiful man I first married.’ And don’t get me started on C-section recovery…. One man would have to give birth one time and that would be enough birth control for men worldwide.

  9. Am I the only one who thinks this is kind of funny? Although, two people with mood swings and depression? Hmmm…

  10. Alida Akers says:

    Well hell, pregnancy can cause mood swings and depression….we women have been used to this for ages…get real guys.

    1. Brennon Dean says:

      I’m not particularly disagreeing, but just for clarity, this was a study done on anabolic steroids with all of the same side effects. These are nothing new and we’ve known about this for a very long time now. In a different context, primarily athletes, we would be decrying the use and calling the individual using it a cheater or a loser.

      If we say it’s no big deal here, we then will need to accept that it’s no big deal elsewhere.

  11. Suck it up men!! Well not the depression if it is serious but let’s compare the side effects of the women’s shot version.
    Common side effects of Depo-Provera CI include changes in menstrual periods, weight gain, nausea, stomach cramping/bloating, dizziness, headache, tiredness, irritability, breast tenderness, decrease in breast size, acne, hair loss, decreased sex drive, hot flashes, joint pain, or irritation/pain/skin changes at injection site.

    1. The thing is, it’s unofficially always been a man’s job to put up with women’s natural cyclical hormone induced lunatic ranting, abuse, mindgames, and nonsensical bullisht. If suddenly men were to be subjected to mood swings that placed them on an even ground with women, guess what? The (catastrophic) relationship failure rate would be damn close to 100%.

  12. Let’s also not forget these side effects for women:
    Classic pregnancy signs and symptoms

    The most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy might include:

    Missed period. If you’re in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant. However, this symptom can be misleading if you have an irregular menstrual cycle.
    Tender, swollen breasts. Early in pregnancy hormonal changes might make your breasts sensitive and sore. The discomfort will likely decrease after a few weeks as your body adjusts to hormonal changes.
    Nausea with or without vomiting. Morning sickness, which can strike at any time of the day or night, often begins one month after you become pregnant. However, some women feel nausea earlier and some never experience it. While the cause of nausea during pregnancy isn’t clear, pregnancy hormones likely play a role.
    Increased urination. You might find yourself urinating more often than usual. The amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, causing your kidneys to process extra fluid that ends up in your bladder.
    Fatigue. Fatigue also ranks high among early symptoms of pregnancy. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar — which might make you feel sleepy.
    Other pregnancy signs and symptoms

    Other less obvious signs and symptoms of pregnancy that you might experience during the first trimester include:

    Moodiness. The flood of hormones in your body in early pregnancy can make you unusually emotional and weepy. Mood swings also are common.
    Bloating. Hormonal changes during early pregnancy can cause you to feel bloated, similar to how you might feel at the start of a menstrual period.
    Light spotting. Sometimes a small amount of light spotting is one of the first signs of pregnancy. Known as implantation bleeding, it happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus — about 10 to 14 days after conception. Implantation bleeding occurs around the time of a menstrual period. However, not all women have it.
    Cramping. Some women experience mild uterine cramping early in pregnancy.
    Constipation. Hormonal changes cause your digestive system to slow down, which can lead to constipation.
    Food aversions. When you’re pregnant, you might become more sensitive to certain odors and your sense of taste might change. Like most other symptoms of pregnancy, these food preferences can be chalked up to hormonal changes.
    Nasal congestion. Increasing hormone levels and blood production can cause the mucous membranes in your nose to swell, dry out and bleed easily. This might cause you to have a stuffy or runny nose.

  13. with the increased libido,acne etc , could it be the body hypersecretes testosterone in response the chemical dampening trying to balance . with the increase testosterone you, get they called it depression, but was it really aggressive mood swings? plus increased testosterone open up the whole prostate cancer thing too no?

    1. Acne, increased libido, mood swings… It sounds like becoming a teenager again.


  14. as a carrier of manly genes….im ok with these side effects depending on their severity. obviously any medication that causes severe mood swings and depression is not ok for ANYONE for safety reasons but mild levels are perfectly acceptable.

    seriously, an increased libido AND shooting blanks? id sign up for that.

  15. Emma Allen says:

    I agree with many on here regarding the side effects. The women’s contraceptive has so many side effects and for me the risks far outweigh the benefits. Yet there are still many who have no problems with it. So every one is different. I think having a male contraceptive pill is not only equal but will be a welcome alternative to many couples. It could also alleviate any current issues concerning fathers rights to abortion etc. You can’t tell someone what to do with their own body, however giving people more choice to be responsible should be enough to want to fund this. I am sure there are many men that would say yes!

  16. As Dr. Ruth would always say, “it only takes one drop!”

  17. I just put a golf ball in my shoe. It makes me limp all day!

  18. Jimmy Snyder says:

    I’m waiting for morning after male birth control.

  19. Karen Brauer says:

    I’ve been saying it for decades. Men won’t tolerate the side effects of hormonal contraception. That’s why society pushed it off on women.

    1. Why is the responsibility for matters like these always placed squarely on men? Women have historically played at least as significant a role as men – probably a much greater role, in perpetuating cultural roles, stereotypes, and expectations. Don’t underestimate the lives of women who have come before you.

  20. Until this trial, oral birth control for men has never been an option. Only condoms. But it’s interesting that virtually every comment by women here has a heavy tone of mocking and derision, even condemning men for controlling women’s bodies.
    If men mocked and derided women in this way the alarm bells would be ringing and heads would roll.

    1. Brennon Dean says:

      Unfortunately, this isn’t an oral contraceptive. This is just injectable testosterone, which we’ve had for a very long time. We’ve known it can function as a contraceptive, however, in the United States we fought very hard in the 80s to make it illegal.

      The fact of the matter is there are hundreds of thousands of men using Testosterone every week. They’re clearly capable of ‘handling’ it, but unless they have a doctor prescribing it in low quantities for something like hypogonadism, they face going to prison.

      1. So these are the same hormones that are known to cause ‘roid-rage’? Because that’s an enormous risk factor for something that is meant to be a benefit to a relationship.

    2. you’re missing the point. women are mocking men for not being able to put up with mood swings and other side effects of birth control, because we women are expected to put up with those very same side effects and more and there is very little conversation about it, and I’ve certainly never read about a drug trial being stopped because women were experiencing mood swings from it. it’s a double standard that no man ever wants to talk about, and women are fed up with it.

    3. Brennon Dean says:

      Correct, they are the same hormones. Juice, roids, anabolic steroids, ‘male hormonal contraception’–whatever you want to call them. My personal opinion is that aggression isn’t a particular concern based on the available research, however, society has an extremely negative opinion on these hormones already and will jump to litigate against the pharmaceutical companies the first time something happens.

      Ironically, athletes have been using the argument for years that women are given similarly dangerous compounds (birth control) every single day, now without even a prescription required. I can imagine the uproar if we as a society made female birth control a scheduled substance with associated prison time.

      So I agree, many of the comments here about men not being able to handle it are pretty cringe worthy. It has more to do with men simply not being allowed access to these hormones as women are.

  21. It causes mood swings because it doesn’t increase the man’s chances of getting laid.

  22. theotherhanddude says:

    An injection of estrogen will leave men not wanting sex but a shopping spree.

  23. Sutpen says:

    Mood swings & depression in women because they aren’t in control?

  24. Steve Carter says:

    Wow… just look at all the shaming language employed by angry women here. No empathy, no encouragement, no supportive anything. Just anger and ridicule.

    No wonder so many men are opting out of marriage. It’s too much headache, the *potential* damage of divorce outweighs the *guaranteed* benefits of marriage, and these kinds of poisonous women are become (if not already) the norm.

  25. A lot of very misinformed women in these comments. These are not the same side affects as female birth control. The severity of the side affects is completely different, as is the recovery. This article mentioned very little about the drug in question, but there are only a couple possibilities. The trials are giving men anabolic steroids which shut down natural hormone production. Do you know what happens to men who come off steroids? many/most lose their natural ability to produce it. Do women who take BC become forced to stay on estrogen injections for life? No, they don’t. Huge difference. The feedback loops in sex hormones of males and females is not the same. At all.

  26. I had all those side effects as well as weight gain, decreased libido, and heart palpatations, and increased risk of breast cancer. I finally quit taking the pill because of the heart palpitations. That was just too much.

  27. I hope this study serves to bring awareness to how harmful hormonal birth control is for women. Instead of focusing on creating more hormonally based drugs for people we should talk about how women shouldn’t be subjected to this kind of barbaric birth control and also at how misogyny is playing a bill role in this study and the comments in reaction to it. It is very unfair to say when women endure it without it being given a second thought. (cue man troll)

  28. Lana Jordan says:

    I have so many problems with CBS’s approach to this news piece. Rather than celebrating this significant point in the history of medicine, it focuses on the negatives, putting the side effects in the freakin title of the article. It refuses to acknowledge that much of women’s birth control, which is commonly accepted, causes similar side effects.
    The video makes a big deal about how FOUR men in the study still got their wives pregnant, making that sound like the birth control doesn’t work. But it failed to acknowledge that the study included 266 participants. That is 99.98% effective. Basically this is really freakin awesome news. The media should be CELEBRATING this research, not discouraging men..

    1. Brennon Dean says:

      My biggest problem with it is that it’s click bait. This isn’t new research. We’ve known this for a very long time. For example: is twenty years old! The research is certainly valuable, but it’s dishonest to present this as something new and is intentionally framed to rile people up.

  29. Morey Ladini says:

    Whoever didn’t already predict this shouldn’t be in medicine or science, period. There’s a difference between preventing a single, pre-formed egg from make it’s little trip down the tubes each month and shutting down the production of millions of male sperm per day.

  30. Jim Williams says:

    Keeping your pants on is depressing?

  31. There’s no way any self respecting man would take a shot which is akin to chemical castration. NO WAY.

  32. Rose Hackney says:

    Those symptoms did not prevent them from being inflicted upon women. The wussies can have a vasectomy.