There is no contraceptive “silver bullet” - no one method that everyone will see as the be-all-end-all of methods.
Imagine this - there’s an injectable contraceptive that lasts for a few months, but it requires seeing a provider, in their office, to administer the drug when it’s time. Or, alternatively, there’s a new daily pill, and it has almost no side effects, but it requires strict adherence to be efficacious, and missing a dose by even a few hours can be problematic. Or instead, imagine an option that works for years on end and is very effective, but requires a provider to make a small surgical incision in the scrotum during an administration procedure, and users would be sore for a few days afterwards.
A persona is a fictional character created to represent a user type that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way. They are incredibly useful tools in user-centered design, marketing, and other disciplines focusing on customers or “users”, and they are particularly useful during ideation activities for new products and services as they allow for the extrapolation of user preferences to inform attributes, thereby removing some of the ambiguity inherent in new product design.
In 2021, MCI's Youth Advisory Board (YAB) was able to release an undergraduate research opportunity in an effort to engage young scholars in the field of male contraception. The opportunity was made available with support from the Parsemus Foundation and contributions from Male Contraceptive Initiative.
What potential male contraceptives are out there, and when will they be available?
These are two of the most frequent questions we hear and are asked. While it is difficult to pinpoint an exact date and time that the next generation of male contraceptives will be on the market, we wanted to at least attempt to provide some clarity on the great work being done to bring new methods of sperm-targeting contraception to market. As such, we have developed a dedicated space on our website to catalogue the various non-hormonal, reversible male contraceptives being researched.
The bladder, or urinary bladder, is a hollow muscular organ that stores urine from the kidneys before it is disposed of through urination. Urine enters the bladder via the ureters and exits via the urethra. The typical human bladder will hold between 10 and 16 fluid ounces before the urge to urinate occurs, but can hold considerably more. It is situated at the base of the pelvis in humans.
The rectum is the final straight portion of the large intestine in humans and some other mammals. The adult human rectum is about 4.7 inches (12 centimetres) long, and begins at the rectosigmoid junction, which is located at the end of the sigmoid colon.
The anus is the opening at the end of the digestive tract where stool (or feces) leaves the body. This is not to be confused with the rectum, which is the section of the digestive tract above the anus where stool is held before it passes out of the body. In humans, the anus is the external opening of the rectum, located inside the intergluteal cleft, known colloquially as the butt crack, and separated from the genitals by the perineum. Its primary purpose is to control the exit of feces from the body during defecation.
Support for young researchers is a key pillar of MCI’s mission. We find it so important that we have a variety of ways to get behind today’s brightest, including a fellowship program, internships, and our Trainee Success program. The Trainee Success program is one of our most versatile ways to help young researchers as it comes to meet students where they are. If they are in need of travel support, professional development, or other help, our Success Program can find a way to develop these young scientists in such a way that the future of male contraception is sustained for years to come.
Modern hormonal and prescription contraception is primarily focused on giving cisgender women, or people who identify as women who were also assigned female at birth, the means to protect themselves against an unintended pregnancy. While pills, patches, and IUDs are useful tools to help cis women control their fertility, they may fall short at protecting some cis men, trans, nonbinary, and intersex people. In recent years, there has been an increased awareness of sexual and reproductive health disparities adversely affecting LGBTQ populations.
Male Contraceptive Initiative takes our mission seriously and we are constantly looking for ways to reach our organization goals and contribute to expansive contraception access. After an extensive internal review of our values, organizational activities, and aspirations, as well as the way we communicate our work to outside audiences, MCI arrived at “Reproductive Autonomy for All” as our central vision statement. We believe that this articulation of our vision complements and enhances our mission to “empower men, and couples, to fully contribute to family planning goals by providing them the resources they need for reproductive autonomy”. Through these simple statements we are able to clearly convey that our work is more than just drug or product development, but rather a mission to empower everyone with the freedom to choose for themselves how to manage their own fertility and family planning goals.
Achieving the sustainable development agenda will require partnerships between governments, the private sector, and civil society; collaborations across sectors and countries will be the only way we can create a more sustainable future for everyone and everything on this planet.
Findings from a review conducted by Population Reference Bureau indicated that, “reduced fertility translates into more stable population growth rates, eased pressures on the job market, fewer unemployed youth, and as a consequence, an environment more conducive to cultivating strong democracies. Shifts in age structure from a youthful population to a more mature one helps lay the foundation for social and political stability—a cornerstone of robust national institutions”.
Humanity is impacting environmental degradation on a global scale. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report indicates that “It is indisputable that human activities are causing climate change, making extreme climate events, including heat waves, heavy rainfall, and droughts, more frequent and severe. Given that the global population is increasing at an exponential rate, demand and use of natural resources will also continue to increase.
As the global human population continues to grow, the already untenable strain on global fisheries continues, while pollution and climate change further impact the viability of our ocean resources.
Climate change is real, and its impacts are already being felt by every human on the planet. One way we can take action today is to provide new methods for men and women to choose if and when to have children.
Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns is necessary to ensure the viability of the environment for future generations and the longevity of humanity itself.
Estimates indicate that the world is confronting the largest wave of urbanization in human history, with an anticipated 5 billion people expected to live in city settings by 2030. This shift to urban settings will add significant additional pressure on critical infrastructures, such as health systems, water, sanitation, and education, that are already struggling to meet the needs of the current urban population.
Inequality exists in various forms including economic, gender, disability, race, and social inequality. With respect to family planning, inequality is deeply felt with respect to availability of contraceptives in developed versus developing countries, as well as across genders with only limited options available to sperm-producing people.
Building resilient communities, families, and systems is a crucial part of proactively supporting recovery in times of crisis. Rapid population growth leads to an increased demand for infrastructure systems including housing, schools, and health centers. In the absence of sufficient funding or capacity to respond to these increasing demands, existing resources become strained, making them exceedingly vulnerable in times of crisis and more difficult to rebuild in times of recovery.
Roughly half the world lives on the equivalent of USD $2 per day. Globally, the unemployment rate exceeds 5%, resulting in nearly 400 million persons going without work or income.However, even those that are employed are not able to escape poverty in many places.
Approximately 840 million people around the world lack access to electricity with nearly 3 billion people relying primarily on cooking systems that are inefficient and polluting. The use of wood and other fuels contribute to more than 4 million deaths due to household air pollution while also contributing extensively to deforestation and depletion of fossil fuels.
Access to water and sanitation are human rights, yet billions live without them. Male contraception can reduce unintended pregnancies and population growth, easing water demand the world over and freeing this finite, life-sustaining resource for families everywhere.
Unintended pregnancies disproportionately disadvantage women and girls, and this disproportionate impact is both a cause and an effect of gender inequality. By increasing choice and access to contraceptive methods, male contraception has the potential to increase gender equality.
Ensuring access to a complete education is a critical component of combating poverty and improving health and social outcomes. Contraception plays an instrumental part in supporting educational outcomes in two key ways: first by allowing couples to plan and space their children effectively and second by allowing young people to protect themselves from an unintended pregnancy.
Ensuring healthy lives for all means focusing on how needs vary across populations and life stages. Contraception directly and positively impacts many health indicators, including reducing infant and maternal mortality and improving the health of children.