Men Quit Male Birth Control Study Because It Was Giving Them Mood Swings

Welcome to the club, dudes. Also: WOMAN UP.

As most anyone with a uterus can attest to, hormonal contraception can have some serious side effects, including nausea, headaches, weight gain, decreased libido, depression, and yes, mood swings.

Broadly (opens in new tab) reports on new research from the University of Edinburgh which suggests that men might also be able to effectively take hormonal birth control, meaning women wouldn't solely have to suffer than burden. But before you throw a parade/throw out your pills, you should know that the study was stopped because men were experiencing side effects that many women using hormonal contraception currently experience.

The study found that (opens in new tab) a male contraceptive injection could have a success rate of 96-percent—that's almost as effective as the pill, which is 99.9 percent effective. They studied 320 men between the ages of 18 and 45; injecting them with two hormones (progestogen to lower sperm counts, and testosterone, to reduces the effects of the progestogen (progesterone also reduces testosterone).

It was working until 20 men claimed of issues and the study was halted.

From the study: "Of these 20, 6 men discontinued only for changes in mood and 6 men discontinued for the following single reasons: acne, pain or panic at first injections, palpitations, hypertension, and erectile dysfunction." The other eight men dropped out because of mood changes.

Sound familiar?

Although the study ended early, the researches see this as a win.

Researcher Mario Philip Reyes Festin from the World Health Organization said (opens in new tab), "The study found it is possible to have a hormonal contraception for men that reduces the risk of unplanned pregnancies in the partners of men who use it."

Well, it sounds like men will just have to woman up during the next study. Come on, boys! Ovary up!

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Laura Beck
Laura Beck

I write on Fox’s THE GREAT NORTH. Before that, I wrote and edited for Cosmopolitan (opens in new tab) magazine and the Jezebel (opens in new tab) blog. My writing has also appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Esquire, VICE, Marie Claire, McSweeney’s, California Sunday, BUST, Elle, Village Voice, Harper’s Bazaar, LA Weekly, Eater, Fast Company, Mic, Atlas Obscura, and more. I co-host/co-produce a comedy/storytelling (opens in new tab) show on the first Friday of every month at Stories in LA. I have a degree in Film and TV from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.