Yesterday, the BBC (2009) reported that Chinese researchers have had a successful test of an injectable contraceptive for men. Gu et al (2009) injected 1,045 healthy men with 500 mg of testosterone undecanoate monthly, with contraceptive results comparable to hormonal methods currently available to women. The same group determined this dose in a previous study, testing placebo, 500mg/month, and 1,000mg/month in groups of 12 men (Zhang et al, 1999). The researchers predict that the method could be available within five years if further testing goes well. As discussed in March (3/26/09), over half of men surveyed would like more personal control over their fertility.
Those of you following the Diffblog Twitter feed will probably be disappointed at this shameless self-promotion. I'm revisiting this topic largely because I participated in the BBC's "World Have Your Say" radio discussion of this story (BBC message board; WHYS radio podcast). I received an email yesterday morning regarding the March blog post, and asking if I wanted to discuss whether men could be trusted with the responsibility of birth control.
What amazed me was the ridiculous blame-game on both sides of the debate. Both men and women accused the opposite sex of intentionally sabotaging birth control, or lying about it, in order to cause pregnancy. How often can this seriously happen? And why does the introduction of another potential method of birth control suddenly move all responsibility from one sex to the other?
For comparison, the so-called "standard" dose of testosterone (for hormone replacement or FTM transition) is 200mg per two weeks (of testosterone cypionate or testosterone enanthate). A pharmaceutical study recommended doses of 750mg per 10 weeks for undecanoate in hypogonadal men (MedNewsToday, 2009). The dosage used in this study seems to be a touch higher, though not nearly as high as doses used for performance-enhancement. I caution against having too much faith in the term "standard" here, since dosing is highly individualized: I take half that much (50mg weekly).
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