New Male Contraception Method Sounds Promising & Maybe a Little Scary

10

contraceptionDid the moment when we women can throw away our birth control pills, diaphragms, sponges, IUDs, and other contraceptive devices with confidence just get closer? Will we soon be able to rely on a simple zap to prevent us from getting pregnant? And will the responsibility for contraception finally fall not to us, but more than ever to our male partners? (Here's hoping!)

Researchers at the University of North Carolina think they may have come with a new "promising candidate" for male contraception: zapping testicles with a dose of ultrasound in order to halt the production of sperm, or at least reduce it to "sub-fertile" levels. It works on rats, the BBC reports, and they're hoping to perfect it for use in humans.

Assuming it doesn't hurt the zappee, the method does sound promising, though there is a hitch. (There's always a hitch.) It's not yet clear that the effects will be reversible, that the sperm itself won't be forever damaged (yikes!), or that repeated zapping will prove safe and effective. That's all research that's still underway.

Until all of those details are worked out, presumably, the method will not be approved for use in humans. (Hello, condoms.) But if they are and if it is, assuming, again, that the process is painless, it does sound rather exciting. No more birth control pills, with their myriad side effects? No more diaphragms, with their goop and required forethought? No more condoms (assuming you're with a trusted partner)? No more worry? That probably sounds good to a whole lot of women -- and men, too.

What do you think of this new possible form of male contraception?

 

Image via teofilo/Flickr

birth control