Contraception for Dudes: Blast to the Testes!
Originally published on SexReally.com on May 12th, 2010.
Wow. Could it be that scientists are finally on the brink of finding a safe, low-cost, long-acting, reversible method of birth control…for men?
For decades people have lamented—and debated—the lack of contraceptive options for men (no disrespect intended to the fabulous, STI-thwarting male condom). Some say it’s unfair for the responsibility for contraception to fall squarely on women’s shoulders, others say it makes sense since women often bear the brunt of the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy. And some, as I’ve written about, say that men are too incompetent to be trusted with the responsibility anyway.
Nevertheless, a male “pill” has been in the works for decades. It would seem that (safely and reversibly) altering men’s hormones to affect their potency is no cakewalk. Still, scientists claim to be closer than ever to getting a male hormonal method on the market. But they may have more competition than they bargained for…
Apparently the dark horse method of male contraception is none other than the ultrasound. Yes, the ultrasound most often associated with viewing developing fetuses. Ironic, or fitting? Anyway, according to BBC News, “University of North Carolina experts believe a blast of ultrasound to the testes can safely stop sperm production for six months.”
Though the description may sound a little scary to some (and I will resist the urge to go on a rant about double-standards for the moment), the prospect of a reliable, non-hormonal method for men certainly strikes me as something worth further investigation. We’ll be staying tuned!
Liz Sabatiuk is Social Media Manager for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. When she’s not blogging about birth control and relationships, she dances and teaches Argentine tango and spends a little too much time on Facebook.