Male Contraception

The Wallace (Semi) Weekly

Male Contraception on the Horizon

Since the leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision in May 2022 and eventual overturn of Roe v. Wade in June 2022, abortion access has been at the forefront of many people's minds. Innovative tech and advocacy groups have been leading the charge in filling the ever-widening gaps in access throughout the U.S. Alongside these developments, we have been following other major strides in reproductive health access – contraception. 

Contraception provides an important safety net for people around the world, leading  to decreased unintended pregnancies, increased autonomy, and enables people to plan for their family, or lack thereof. Hormonal contraception was approved by the FDA in 1960; since then each new innovation in hormonal contraception and long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) like IUDs have had one thing in common: they were only made for use in female populations. In contrast, male contraception options (not including withdrawal, which is considered not to be effective) have been limited to:

  • Condoms

  • Vasectomy 

Is that on the cusp of changing? New reproductive innovations are now on the horizon, with progress finally being made for male contraception:

Following the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, the need for contraception has only increased, with women expected to handle the additional responsibility. And while we are moving towards new contraception options for men, the question remains: Will they use it? 

recent study from University of Southern California found that among Black men in Southern California, only 35% said they would use hormonal male contraception. Many noted worries about side effects and expressed overall medical distrust and the potential for the Black community being used as “guinea pigs” for male contraception. Outside of this recent study, there are relatively few studies looking at male attitudes and likelihood of taking a male contraception. 

With the impending development of a male contraception pill, more research on male attitudes and uptake would help prepare for the future rollout. With reproductive rights on the defensive in America right now, this could make huge strides towards better reproductive equity

Stay Informed

Want to learn more about this topic? Check out our curated list of resources:

Business Wire: Organon (NYSE: OGN), a global women’s healthcare company, and Cirqle Biomedical today announced they have entered into a research collaboration and exclusive license agreement for a novel investigational non-hormonal, on-demand contraceptive candidate. Access the full article here

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism: Promising results from a study evaluating the suppression of spermatogenesis and contraceptive protection by co-administered injections of progestogen and testosterone. Read the full article here

BBC News: An on-demand, non-hormonal male contraceptive pill may be a real possibility say scientists who have found a cell pathway, or switch, that stops sperm from being able to swim. Tests in mice show promising results.Read the full article here