Shock Horror, Men Are Worried About Side-Effects From New Contraceptive Pill
'But what if it gives me side effects?'
Buckle up folks, we might be about to see a 62-year-old gender contraception gap close thanks to some huge progress in the development of ‘revolutionary’ pill for men.
The ‘on demand’ pill could be taken just before sex and works by blocking a fertility protein for 24 hours. Scientists have said that this could be even more effective than the tiny pills women have been taking daily for the past six decades in a bid to avoid pregnancy.
Tests on mice have been very successful, and co-author of the research Professor Lonny Levin has said that: “The team is already working on making sAC inhibitors better suited for use in humans.”
At last! There may just be a chance that women can stop putting themselves through hormone havoc and will be able to hand over the contraception baton to men.
Alice Pelton, founder of The Lowdown, the UK’s leading reproductive and sexual health platform, says it’s about time there was progress.
“There’s been very little innovation in the last 60 years for contraception so it’s about time a new male method was invented.
“Currently, the only options available to men are condoms or a vasectomy - so the majority of women end up being responsible for protection against pregnancy (and suffering the side effects and procedures as a result).”
Users would be able to take a pill before they have sex
But what do blokes actually think of this new ‘miracle’ pill? Is everyone quite as enthusiastic about us when it comes to the development?
Well, the stats are quite eye-opening to say the least - and unsurprisingly, men are worried about the side effects women have had to endure for decades becoming their reality instead.
In a recent study, We-Vibe, leading manufacturer of couple vibrators, and YLabs, American research institution from the Harvard Innovation Lab found that 78 percent of men worldwide and 65% of men in the UK would take contraception if it was available - woohoo!
However, here’s the kicker – 47% of men in the UK would not be willing to tolerate any side effects of contraception. Especially if it could affect their libido.
Excuse us while we roll our eyes so hard to the back of our heads that they may never return.
The biggest fear surrounding contraception for men in the UK is ‘unknown long-term effects’ (28%) and ‘side effects’ (22%), both things caused by female contraceptive pills.
And then there’s the issue of someone having to take a pill every day - despite the majority of men in the UK (67%) saying that they think that male contraception sounds like a good idea, fewer than a quarter (22%) say they would be willing to take it daily.
It’s a point that’s even made daytime telly - when the news of the pill’s development broke earlier this week, This Morning presenter Dermot O’Leary said he would not “trust men to be organised” enough to remember to take a male contraceptive pill each time they are about to have sex.
Women who took part in We-Vibes study agreed, saying that they would find it difficult to give away responsibility and there was too much concern that their partner might not take the contraceptives regularly.
One Twitter user told us that she’d love to have her partner take the pill but that they’d have to develop a system to ensure pregnancy could be avoided: “I have wrecked myself with the side effects of hormonal birth control for years and I would love a break, but I’d be wary of trusting my partner to always remember to take it so I would have to have a system in place for peace of mind.”
Another voiced their concerns about timing to HuffPost UK and whether the pill would be effective after a few drinks (because let’s be real, it’s easy enough to forget after a wine or six): “I would take the male pill, though the timing thing is a slightly concerning variable, and I guess in humans, alcohol etc comes into the mix, whether that would effect the result or make it more likely to take at the wrong time.”
However, those who’d be willing to take the pill regularly have explained that the option of a male pill could give them the option to bypass having a vasectomy.
That’s certainly the case for Chris Wilson, founder of Trequartista Consulting, who tells HuffPost UK:
“When I was younger I had no real appreciation for girls I was friends with or in relationships with taking contraceptive pills, it was just ‘the norm’.
“Since becoming a Dad I have been keen to organise a vasectomy so that my partner didn’t have to put herself through any more unnecessary hormonal fluctuations. But, I foolishly read about the procedure and freaked myself out, so, being able to take a pill really does appeal to me.”
The male pill is still very much in its preliminary stages, despite this week’s ground-breaking developments, and in the time we must wait for it to become FDA-approved, it’s clear from the stats that double-standards need to be slashed.