Men ARE happy to take contraception, reveals study that says 75% are up for going on the Pill when scientists eventually discover one
- An online survey of men found 75% would be willing to use a contraceptive
- The study compared willingness to use birth control with gender attitudes
It’s long been said that men are reluctant share the burden of contraception.
But research now shows that’s no longer true.
Three-quarters of men are willing to take a contraceptive, such as a Pill, when one eventually becomes available.
Only two birth control options — condoms or an irreversible vasectomy — exist for men currently.
Scientists believe, however, that new alternatives will come to market by the end of the decade.
Trials of male versions of the Pill and gels are progressing quickly.
As well as NES/T, other contenders include a male pill, which is taken 30 minutes before sex and is thought to be 100 per cent effective at preventing pregnancies. However, this study by the US National Institutes of Health, has only been performed in mice.
Progesterone effectively switches off sperm production, while the testosterone restores levels of this hormone that fall as a result. The progesterone instructs the body that enough sperm is being produced. As a result, the pituitary gland in the brain releases less luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). These hormones drive sperm production. Over the course of three to four months, a man’s sperm count drops to below one million sperm per millilitre — at which point it can become a couple’s sole method of contraception
Such developments have faced more hurdles than with women, who have been offered contraceptives since the 1960s.
This is because men have dropped out of trials due to side effects — including for ones present in almost all female contraceptives.
And while women have pledged support for a male contraceptives, they admitted they wouldn’t trust men to take it in previous surveys.
A new study, led by a researcher at the University of California, contradicts previous findings that men see contraception as something women should be responsible for.
More than 2,000 men across the US and Canada were quizzed about whether or not they’d be willing to take a new contraceptive.
This included hormonal options, such as a male equivalent of the combined pill — which works by preventing women from ovulating.
Male ones being trialled, which are to be taken 30 minutes before sex, stop men’s sperm from swimming towards the egg and maturing to the stage where it can fertilise it.
More than half of men were willing to use a hormonal contraceptive (54 per cent), the poll revealed.
And 65 per cent were open to using a non-hormonal one.
All men involved in the research, published in Contraception, were aged between 18 and 50 and had had at least one female partner.
The researchers were comparing these findings to attitudes towards gender roles and masculinity, so respondents had to say if they agreed with a variety of statements.
More than a third of the participants strongly agreed that men should be tough and should feel embarrassed if unable to get an erection.
Regarding gender roles, more than 10 per cent of respondents felt it was a woman’s responsibility not to get pregnant.
The study authors said the attitudes towards masculinity and gender roles displayed in the survey could be a barrier to male contraceptive uptake among some men.
WHAT ARE THE CURRENT METHODS OF CONTRACEPTION AVAILABLE TO MEN?
There have been few changes in male contraception compared with the range of options available to women.
Although there’s ongoing research into a male contraceptive pill, there is not one available yet.
At the moment, the 2 contraceptive methods available to men are:
- Condoms – a barrier form of contraception that stops sperm from reaching and fertilizing an egg
- Vasectomy – a minor, usually permanent, surgical procedure that stops sperm from reaching the semen ejaculated from the penis
The withdrawal method of taking your penis out of your partner’s vagina before ejaculating is not a method of contraception.
This is because sperm can be released before ejaculation and cause pregnancy.