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“Surveys show that men would certainly be willing to share responsibility for contraception, and the risks and the side effects if they were tolerable. But up to this point, there hasn’t really been a pill that has shown itself to be tolerable and reasonable.”
Other reasons for a male pill are increased protection if both partners use birth control, protection if the woman can’t tolerate birth control, and — more narrowly — a means of thwarting incidents of “she tricked me,” as well as giving high-profile athletes or celebrities an explanation for how an alleged paternity can’t be linked to them.
The bottom line, of course, comes down to the bottom line. Georg and Tash are ready to talk to the Food and Drug Administration about clinical testing, which is a huge financial undertaking. She’s curious how their non-hormonal approach will be received, but optimistic.
“I grew up in the ’60s, when the Pill first appeared,” Georg said of her early interest in contraception. “You wouldn’t think you’d want to burden all the women — that men should be able to participate, as well.”
Looking for a few good men
Around campus these days, fliers explain that healthy males are needed to donate sperm for reseach. Samples are dropped off at a particular men’s bathroom, where a donor unlocks a safe, leaves the sample, then texts the laboratory when he’s left the building, to ensure confidentiality.
Time is of the essence. The donation must be delivered to the bathroom safe within 30 minutes of collection. Plus, sperm must be kept at body temperature. The instructions helpfully state: “This may be accomplished by placing the specimen cup underneath your shirt and against your skin.”
Georg said the donor’s compensation also is in the safe: a $25 gift card.
Kim Ode • 612-673-7185