Birth control for men isn't just a pipe dream anymore. It's a much-needed and coveted form of contraception that researchers have tried to bring to market for years. In fact, it's been reported that a type of male birth control called Vasalgel, in the form of a shot, could hit pharmacies as early as 2017.
There are tons of other options researchers plan to develop for men, including a new drug developed by Dr. Gary Flynn in partnership with a team of Stanford University researchers. They're even ready to start testing it. But there's just one problem: money.
To help fund the trials that must occur before even considering taking their male birth control research to clinical trials — where men will be able to start using them — the Male Contraceptive Initiative (a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and conduct research of male contraception) launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign. The Tagline? "Male Contraception: It's Time."
"It's been 55 years since the Pill for women came to market in the US. With your help, we can make the same historic breakthrough for men," their Indiegogo page reads.
With most adult engaging in sexual activities, you'd think research and pharmaceutical companies would be 100 percent behind new options, but that isn't the case. Unlike women's reproductive system, researchers have said that there's no normal state where men's testes don't produce sperm. That, paired with age-old stereotypes that conclude men wouldn't want birth control (which is actually false), are why funds are hard to come by for male contraceptives.
The Male Contraceptive Initiative hopes to change that through Dr. Flynn and the team of researchers its gathered. But it's relying on strangers to help pay for the research that will eventually help get the male contraceptives to market, an endeavor that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The group launched the crowdfunding campaign a week ago and have raised a little more than $6,000 of its $92,000 goal. The MCI says that the profits will go to the drug's research, including checking for toxicity, and conducting further animal testing, team's expenses and research of future forms of birth control research the Institute will develop.
As seen through a study that found more than half of men would use male birth control, both men and women are ready for it.
"Men need to be able to share family planning responsibility," the group wrote. "And all men need to be able to avoid unintended fatherhood if they're not ready."
Need another reason?
"Say the male pill is as effective as the female pill. If both men and women are using a pill simultaneously, then their real-world annual pregnancy rate would be down to around 1 percent," Aaron Hamlin of the MCI explained to A Plus in an email.