Male birth control shotFor women, there are numerous choices for birth control. Unfortunately, the burden for contraceptives often falls on women.
Scientists have set out to seek alternatives to female birth control, and allow males to shoulder some of the burdens, reports CNN. Soon, men may have access to male birth control shots.
A new hormonal shot could prevent pregnancy in women, according to a recent study. The trial for the effective drug was going well, but it was recently stopped due to complaints from participants. Mashable reports that participants suffered from extreme side effects, such as mood disorders, depression, pain, and acne.
Ironically, these are the same side effects most women encounter with their contraceptive choices.

Researchers Work on Balance and Efficiency

In the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers from the University of Edinburgh stated that they discovered a progesterone injection that works as an effective form of birth control for men.
Now, the research team works on efficiency and safety for its male users, says Mashable. This is not the first time researchers have examined male birth control. In fact, they have been working on one for over 20 years, says BBC.

Male Birth Control Shot is Effective

The study cited that they found a 96% effective rating with their shot and 270 to 320 men were tested, reports BBC. Only four pregnancies were reported out of the 270 men. A high number of those men, however, experienced side effects. Men ranged from ages 18-45, says CNN. The study was conducted at health centers around the world. Men in the study were tested before the start to ensure they had adequate sperm counts.
Mashable says that 20% or about 20 men dropped from the study because of the side effects. A 6% rate of adverse events is considered high.
The injections were given to male participants every eight weeks, reports CNN. It consisted of 1,000 milligrams of a synthetic testosterone and 200 milligrams of a derivative of the female progesterone. Men were then required to provide sperm samples, where researchers checked to make sure levels were at their lowest point.
Researchers found that the shots held sperm counts low in 96% of users, says CNN.

More Research Required

Physicians are now looking at new ways to deliver the synthetic hormones, such as gels, reports BBC. However, they feel the shots were a jumping off point, because they now feel they have the right combination of hormones to prevent pregnancies.
This is the first time a male contraceptive showed exceptional promise, but the side effects were too much of a concern.
One item of note, however, was that 75% of the men who participated said they would take the contraceptive.
CNN reports that 20-30% of women who take oral contraceptives report some form of depression or mood disorder. They often are prescribed medication to counteract it. In this study, 3% of men reported depression and the study was canceled. Therefore, some critics feel that it was cut short for inadequate reasons.