While talking about what happens when guys take birth control pills, the first question that will be raised in reader’s mind in the pretext of this conversation is why would a man take birth control pills? Let us first focus on the “what” and then take a brief look at the “why”.
In general, birth control pills contribute two important hormones – estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are being predominantly produced naturally by a woman. In case, if she wants a better contraception, she can choose to take birth control pills, through which these hormones can regulate her menstrual cycle and prevent further implantation of the egg in the uterine cavity. Interestingly, these hormones are secreted in a smaller amount by men as well. The latest research has indicated the role of these hormones in sperm development and the production of the secondary male sexual hormone – the testosterone.
Thus, to know further about what happens when a man takes estrogen pills or progesterone pills, it is important to understand that why these female hormones are being consumed by men. In case of certain rare medical conditions, like prostate enlargement or testicular cancer, these contraceptives are prescribed to allow rapid hormonal regulation. However, multiple studies have reported many adverse effects of female hormones on males.
Some of the documented side effects can be noted as follows:
Sexual functioning gets affected
Testosterone is associated with the development of secondary sexual characters in males. When guys take birth control pills, high level of female sex hormones renders testosterone to be ineffective. As a result of which, males can experience functional as well as structural changes in their sex organs. During multiple reported events – decreased sperm counts, lesser libido, erectile dysfunction, and a decrease in the size of testicles have been noted. In some men, gynecomastia is also reported, leading to an increased size of the breast tissue, along with the enlarged or darkened nipples. Although the length of the penis is not reported to change after consumption of birth control pills, it has been reported to be less flaccid. It just appears to be small due to an excessive increase in lower abdominal fat. Some investigations have further reported a drastic reduction in the size of male testicles, which is confirmed to be one quarter than their usual size.
Changes in physical appearance
Decreased secretion of testosterone can as well have an adverse impact on growth, muscles, and physical appearance. Thus, decrease in the size of large muscles – such as legs, chest, and arms – is exactly what happens when guys take birth control pills. Additionally, many men have reported brittle bones, osteoporosis, and male pattern baldness as adverse effects of female hormones.
Over a period of time, taking female birth control pills can reduce hair growth, especially on the body. Although hair growth is less visible, men have reported the appearance of vellus hair – the type of hair most women have on parts of their body.
Research has been able to investigate the effect of testosterone on male assertiveness and aggressive behavior. Since its effect is diminished through consumption of female sex hormones; many men have reported issues such as becoming less assertive and loss of sexual desire. Certain feminine issues, such as hot flashes, insomnia, foggy thinking, etc. are what happens when guys take birth control pills.
Increased risk of diseases
Major hormonal turbulence experienced by men taking birth control pills may have tremendous negative health impacts – like liver disease, gallbladder issues, hardening of blood vessels, etc. Men have also raised concerns related to hormone-related blood clots, prostate enlargement, and cancer in certain adverse conditions. So, this is what happens when guys take birth control pills.
Due to suppression of male sex hormones, studies have reported indications like fragile nails, dry skin, unusual mood swings, and low voice in many men who were on female birth control pills.
Those who are undergoing hormonal therapy in the context of gender reassignment, these physiological changes are to be obviously expected. Although, the degree of side effects is variable depending upon diet, general health, and genetic influences; it is always advisable to undergo immediate medical consultations for all your health-related concerns.