A recent study commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) to test a male contraceptive was cut short after most of the participants experienced life-altering side effects.

Several participants described the experience as miserable and regularly complained of bloating, irritability and heightened sensitivity to the “totally judgmental” comments their friends made about their weight. So, despite a 96% effectiveness rating, this new form of male contraceptives will never reach the mass consumer market.

One of the participants, Gañir, was especially prone to the pill’s side effects. He expressed a tremendous amount of shame from the increase in acne on his cheek and forehead. Additionally, Gañir reported bloating and discomfort, and he eventually stopped taking the pill to avoid the untenable situation.

“It just feels like an unreasonable sacrifice for me to bear considering there is still a 4% chance of a pregnancy occurring. My friends keep judging everything I do, and I haven’t been able to wear anything but sweatpants all week because of this bloating.”

Gañir acknowledged his girlfriend’s disappointment that he is no longer on the pill, however, he later added that he just wished “she would be sympathetic to his feelings too.”

We reached out to Gañir’s girlfriend but did not receive a response.

With the setback to male contraceptives likely to dominate the conversation among men in the coming months, the WHO is looking at alternatives. So far, solutions range from moderate amputation to further exploring the female contraceptive marketplace. According to Gañir “it is a two-way street after all.”

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