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Unhealthy Birth Control Options For Men

You may have read a story I posted earlier this month about the recent "black box" warning for Depo-Provera, the injectable contraceptive that was found to lower a woman's bone mass. There's a number of birth control options -- all drug-related -- soon to be available to men that appear to be just as unhealthy.

According to the Instiute of Medicine (IOM), here's a short list of several drug-related male birth control options under development:

  • Testosterone undecanoate: Hormone-based contraceptive.
  • Lonidamine: First marketed as an anti-cancer drug and has toxic effects on the liver and kidneys.
  • MENT (7-alpha-methyl-19-nortestosterone): A synthetic hormone implant resembling testosterone.
  • Eppin: A drug that works by stimulating the immune system to shut down an enzyme crucial to sperm maturation.
  • Alkylated sugars: Compounds produced sperm with misshapen heads, poor mobility, and other problems in mice.

If you are considering taking such drugs (or already are taking them), I see NO medical justification for men or women to use drugs, or any other hormonal methods for birth control. Some safer, healthier solutions to birth control include:

  • Natural family planning in which a woman uses various techniques to determine when she is fertile during the month.
  • Barrier methods, including condoms for men and women.

Yahoo News December 13, 2004

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