The Male Birth Control Pill: 45 Years of Almost

09/10/2012 10:12 AM |

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  • Cerdiwen

Last week, a study about the male birth control pill made headlines:

A recent study, published in the journal Cell and conducted by a team of researchers, including a Texas A&M scientist, claims that it may be sooner than later that men can begin taking their own birth control pills, instead of just women.

Sounds like great news, no? “Sooner than later,” dudes can share the responsibility for preventing pregnancy, and all of the associated costs and side-effects. I wouldn’t get too excited just yet, though. That pesky ol’ male birth control pill has a long history of making “almost there” headlines, only to never turn up.

Let me take you on a little journey through newspapers. The year is 1969. The paper is the Modesto Bee. The story is an AP story headlined: Male Birth Control Will Be Sought. It’s cheerfully announcing a $3 million program funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development to find a “modern male method.” The NICHD is optimistic they will find the ideal method of birth control—reversible, safe, inexpensive, side-effect-less—but it may take some time. Five to ten years, says the doctor quoted. Sounds great.