I think it’s been well established in our society that, in heterosexual relationships, condoms shouldn’t be solely the man’s responsibility’both men and women should be active in protecting themselves from unwanted pregnancy. Now, the Pill could also become a contraceptive option available for men.
An article from the Daily Mail reports that researchers say they have developed a contraceptive pill that will temporarily halt sperm production without interfering with male fertility in the future. Just like the female contraceptive pill, the drug would be taken daily and the ability to conceive would return to normal after the drug is stopped.
If the male version of the Pill is taken much the same way as the female version, it seems that, like the female Pill, contraception will not be as effective if the drug isn’t used correctly. When women forget to take the Pill, we’re aware of the possibility it might not work properly and can take other contraceptive precautions. Will men have this same awareness? Personally, I’d be hesitant to leave my own contraception up to someone else.
Researchers from Columbia University in New York say the drug functions by impairing “the male body’s ability to use vitamin A, which is vital for the production of sperm,” reports the Daily Mail.
Though the pill impairs the body’s ability to use this vitamin, which is crucial for vision, scientists say it will not affect sight.
Previous attempts to develop a male form of contraception have contained steroids, resulting in damaging side effects such as heart disease and impotence, but scientists say this oral version is steroid-free and has yet to show any side effects.
A second form of contraception is also in development in Beijing and involves an injection of testosterone each month which temporarily blocks sperm production. A third of the 1,000 trial participants dropped out though, "possibly because they disliked having to go for an injection once a month," the article suggests. So who’s to say the important schedule of taking a daily pill will be followed any more closely than the once-a-month injection?
As a woman, I’m the one who would bear the physical responsibility of becoming pregnant and I’d rather be accountable to myself than end up blaming someone else. By all means men, take the Pill’just please know that I’m not going to count on it as the sole means of contraception.
Will women prefer to leave the responsibility of contraception up to the guy? Will men take the drug effectively? Do men even want this responsibility or are condoms just easier?