Will there ever be a male contraceptive pill?
We’ve all been there. Things start to heat up in the bedroom, then there’s the sudden lull in passion as you search for a condom. Up till now, so much of the responsibility of birth control and contraception has been left up to women. Whether that be taking a contraceptive pill, having a contraceptive implant, contraceptive injections or patches, vaginal rings or even using a diaphragm or cap. All in all, this responsibility can be a tough pill to swallow at the best of times.
But times are changing – and we’re getting closer to creating an effective male contraceptive pill to put everyone on equal footing when it comes to responsibility, and giving men another way to protect themselves during sex. Let’s dive into some of the information about this elusive little male pill that’s set to become a game changer.
What is the male birth control pill?
The male pill that is currently being studied is a hormone-based pill called dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU) that could potentially prevent pregnancies. It does this by suppressing two types of hormones that simultaneously decrease the production of testosterone and sperm, without causing any symptoms of low testosterone. So far, studies have shown this to be safe to take, but a lot more research is needed.
For a male contraceptive pill to full work, it will need to either:
- Slow or stop the creation of sperm
- Stop sperm from leaving the body
- Slow down sperm so that they don’t reach their destination and fertilise and egg
- Stop sperm from fertilising an egg – possibly through a non-hormonal medication
When will the male contraceptive pill be available?
If a male birth control pill is going to become available – or maybe, when – it will have to be:
- Easy to use
- Free from serious side effects
- Widely available
Scientists are working on creating an effective male contraceptive that meets all of these requirements. Studies and research are still ongoing and there’s a lot more that needs to be done, so it’ll be several years before the male pill will become available.
Should you take the male contraceptive pill?
Well, this is up to you or your partner. Once a male contraceptive pill has been created and is safe to take and doesn’t cause any serious side effects, the choice will be yours. If you’re not looking to have a baby any time soon, it’ll be a good way to stay protected, in exactly the same way as the female contraceptive pill is. It’ll most likely be a convenient, simple, one-a-day pill, too, which might be much more convenient for you than condoms (although we want to stress that contraceptive pills don’t protect against sexually transmitted infections, so you’ll still want to use condoms if you have new or multiple partners to be safe).
You’ll also need to look at the research and findings about the male pill when it becomes available. If there’s a higher rate of effectiveness vs. using a condom alone, it could certainly be a sensible decision.
Depending on your relationship status, this may be a conversation that you’ll need to have with your partner to decide the best methods of contraception for the both of you.
How far along is the research into the male contraceptive pill?
In early 2019, there was a study conducted with 82 men who were given the male birth control pill called dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU) for a month. It was shown to be safe to use for this length of time and didn’t show any serious side effects. Researchers only measured the male pill’s ability to lower testosterone without causing symptoms. It didn’t measure sperm count, so there’s more research that needs to be done before the male contraceptive pill becomes a reality.
According to YouGov, a third of sexually active men would be willing to take the male contraceptive pill if it became a reality – that’s as many as women do now. It certainly would help to even the balance of contraceptive responsibility: as shown in this survey, women tend to (or feel as though) they take on most of the responsibility of safe sex, even though both women and men agree it should be a shared responsibility. Given it’s a shared activity with shared responsibility, we agree it should be even – so here’s hoping the male contraceptive pill makes its way to the public soon.
Other male contraceptive methods
We know the male birth control pill isn’t going to be available for quite some time, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have other options. Here are the two male contraceptive options that are currently have available:
Vasectomy: Alright, this is a bit of an extreme one. It’s a minor surgical procedure that stops sperm from reaching the semen that’s ejaculated from your penis. It’s usually permanent, so you’ll need to think carefully before opting for this.
Condoms: This is by far the most common male contraceptive and not only reduces the likelihood of pregnancy, but also stops the transmission of different sexually transmitted diseases. They can also be fun to use and even add to your pleasure. We have Durex Intense Condoms in stock that are lubricated with a stimulating gel that increases the sensitivity of your partner’s intimate areas, delivering a warming, cooling and tingling sensation your partner will love.