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The hunt for a “male birth control pill” is a topic that often grabs attention. But so far no products have been licensed for use, either because they haven’t been effective enough, or because of negative side effects – including depression, mood disorders and acne – that halted trials.

Current contraceptive options for men are limited and not always effective – so it’s no wonder research continues in this area. But, while this is important, it’s critical that this isn’t at the expense of improving contraceptives currently available for women.

Since the female birth control pill first became available in the 1960s, it has allowed many to control their own fertility and manage conditions such as dysmenorrhoea (painful periods), non-menstrual pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding.

But despite these benefits, birth control options are still failing women. This is largely because of the unpleasant side effects many people experience when using them – which in some cases severely decreases quality of life.

Read the full article on The Conversation website, written by Bethan Swift and Christian Becker, Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health.

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