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Tuesday, 29 February, 2000, 14:12 GMT
Would you take the male pill?

Is the male pill the key to making men take responsibility for their sex lives?

Two thirds of men would use a male version of the contraceptive pill if it were available, a survey published in the journal Human Reproduction says.

And three quarters of the men's partners said they would trust their husband or boyfriend to take an oral contraceptive.

But would men ever have the same incentive as women to remember to take a pill every day?

HAVE YOUR SAY I think men would love to have the pill. Look how many guys have a vasectomy! Believe me I would rather have a daily pill than go under the doctors knife!!!
Bill, USA

I think it is a great idea. To the people who don't trust your partner to take the pill, then maybe you shouldn't be with them if you can't trust them. Like they say if you keep downing the male gender then why should they care what we think.
Holly/Aleta, USA

Yeah love, I promise I took it. No honestly
R Clements, N.I.

I agree with Todd, the responsibility shouldn't only fall on one partner to take their pill. If they both want to be 'safe' from parenthood they should both take their pills. Then one isn't 'caught' in a situation they don't want.
Most of the comments on here make it sound as if the release of the male pill with 'abolish' it's female counterparts. Not really. All it will do is perhaps prevent a few men from being 'trapped' into fatherhood.
The other is trust. Women, no one is forcing you to trust your partner, whether they're on the pill or not. You either can trust them about it, or pull out the condoms or your own pills. Simple as that.
Celia, USA





I don't trust my husband to use the washing machine!

Joanna Gilfoy, UK
Until men can get pregnant and realise the enormity of an unwanted pregnancy then they will never have the need to take the pill. I don't trust my husband to use the washing machine!
Joanna Gilfoy, UK

I'd rather trust myself to take the Pill every day than my girlfriend - baby paranoia keeps me awake at night.
Rich, UK

No I would not take the pill. After what the pill did for women, you would have to be mad to think about taking it. It gave them mood swings which caused them to behave irrationally. Try to work with a woman in an office situation whilst she is having a mood swing. After all the pill is a steroid.
Martin Doyle, Australia

SH from the UK is really a very cynical individual. I would suggest that she widens her circle of friends as many of my contemporaries are very keen to start a family and indeed many have. I myself do not want children but surely that is my decision to make and no one else's? The male pill is my way of making that decision whilst showing trust in my long term partner by not needing a condom.
Rob Aldridge, England

Although I have neither seen nor used the male pill, I am sure I would rather take the pill for prevention purposes. There is however the danger of leaving the issue of sex to some male chauvinists. I am interested in seeing the pill.
Nenye Taylor, Nigeria

You can get rid of a baby (heaven forbid) but you can not get rid of HIV.
Alan, England

I would take it if I were young, active and single.
Harry Chia, Singapore


I realise that I am being cynical but do we really want to leave the fate of the human race in the hands of men!!!!

SH, UK
Most of the comments that are on this page are encouraging to hear. However, do women really want to let men take control of the contraception issue? The Human race would likely die out!!
Most men I know don't want kids and if they were given the opportunity of controlling that as much as the pill would offer, how many would be willing to give up their freedom to have kids!!! I realise that I am being cynical but do we really want to leave the fate of the human race in the hands of men!!!!
SH, UK

The only true form of safe sex for a man is to tell her a false name and phone number.
Ian Hopgood, UK

It's time to be gentlemen - to take some of the responsibilities off the woman's shoulders.
Andrej, Russia

All that can be said is that abstinence is the best policy.
Hosam, Egypt

Heaven forbid! Trust is always a grey area between many people - one person's idea of trust is very different to another's. Surely this could lead to more problems with regard to relationships generally. After all, can you trust your man to leave the empty bottles out for the milk man, let alone take a pill preventing pregnancies? I rest my case.
Rachel Trattif, UK

Trust works both ways. Some women are prepared to lie to become pregnant, so the male pill would afford some protection for men. However, if it is casual sex with an unknown partner then a condom protects you against a lot more than just becoming father.
Duncan, UK



We should leave women to take their pill and complain about getting fat because of it.

Marco, UK
So the male pill is on our doorstep and already women are complaining that we're not responsible enough and we don't care about the consequences. This is the traditional feminist retort and if that's the case we should leave women to take their pill and complain about getting fat because of it.
Marco, UK

I am open to it, but wait and see. Many men will tend to think that they are introducing more hormones to their bodies and have less chances to get a woman pregnant. Hence, better reasons to be promiscuous :-)
Bharat Bhushan, Germany/India

I wonder if men would really feel comfortable taking a pill that in a way makes them impotent.
Raya, Holland

Nope! But then, I wouldn't request/require a woman to take the pill, either.
Mark M. Newdick, USA/UK



I would definitely take it. It would save having to stop the talk over contraception at the time when you least want to stop!
Mike, UK



I would still insist on using a condom. Why die for a moment of pleasure?

Dave MacLeod, Canada
Why tell her I was on the pill at all unless we were discussing having children? I would use the male pill to provide extra protection against unwanted pregnancies but, I would still insist on using a condom. Why die for a moment of pleasure?
Dave MacLeod, Canada

I agree that a lot would depend on the nature of the relationship, but to some people it might also depend on how sexually active they are - a sort of cost/benefit (side-effects against avoiding having to use condoms). It might not be worth taking hormones all month if you are only slightly active, while not having to use condoms several times a month might be worthwhile.
Doug, NL

I'm looking forward to the male morning after pill!
Dan, UK

I don't think so. It is different to carry a baby rather than produce one. There is some incentive in the USA where child support is a big issue. Some sex driven men who have multiple partners or cheat on their wives would appreciate it.
Khatak, USA

I wouldn't do it, NOT A CHANCE IN HELL!
JD Hawk, USA

I would like to know about the studies done for the safety of this male-pill. And trust men to take a pill, you must be kidding, I don't think so!
Reetu, USA



I would welcome the pill because men need protection too.

Robert Kidd, Australia
I would definitely take it. There is a growing breed of professional / semi-professional, mature childless women out there and unfortunately when the biological alarm bells start ringing in their early 30's, man becomes more of a 'means to an end'. Therefore, I would welcome the pill, because men need protection too.
Robert Kidd, Australia

Only a fool would forget to take a pill that would save so much inconvenience and heart ache. And that's the problem, only fools will be reproducing.
Geoff Sutton, USA

The male contraceptive seems like an excellent way to share responsibility in a serious relationship or to protect your self from accidental fatherhood.
George Mealor, United States of America



The only problem with the male pills might be that the men have to remember to take them every day.

Ic, US
The only problem with the male pills might be that the men have to remember to take them every day, if it is so. Not that they would not be responsible enough to take them everyday, I think they would be just as responsible as women are in taking pills regularly particularly when it comes to sex. If these pills came with some added benefits such as the women's pills do, I am sure men would take it regularly. But the condom being the most popular contraceptive measure not just because of its degree of effectiveness, but also because of its safer sex promotion and convenience, its going to be a little hard for both men and women to replace the condoms.
Ic, US

If I had not had a vasectomy 16 years ago as I never wanted to father any children, the answer would be a definite and emphatic YES! Unfortunately however there are two problems with a male pill. As they don't have to actually carry and birth the child many men would forget to take the pill especially if it had any minor side effects. Also there are the problems of spreading AIDS and other venereal diseases which using a condom can help prevent.
Steve Foley, England

Dr. S from UK is such a jerk. His comments are so chauvinistic, I can't believe he's actually a doctor.
JK, US

Recently, I was tricked by a girl that I was seeing. She was on the pill, but stopped taking it without telling me. Now she is pregnant. So I find it a bit ridiculous to hear women say that they wouldn't trust men. Women can also be untrustworthy. And there are probably more women who want to become mothers than there are men who want to become fathers. A male pill would lessen the danger to men.
Doug, UK



It would be a wonderful, useful invention, provided it didn't have a long list of adverse side-effects as all of these new drugs do.

John McKane, USA
It would be a wonderful, useful invention, provided it didn't have a long list of adverse side-effects as all of these new drugs do. Can't you just imagine the advert? "The Male-Pill: the greatest invention of the 21st Century! Side-effects may include vomiting, dizziness, hair-loss, sexual-dysfunction, fear of social situations, anal-leakage..." One could go on and on!
John McKane, USA

I think the male pill gives both men and women more choice and extra protection. It is hard to say a woman should or should not trust the man to take pill. It is the same as to say a man should or should not trust a woman to take the pill. I think the man pill give us extra protection against unwanted pregnancy. To be doubly safe both man and woman should take their respective pill.
Todd, USA

Even as a male, I doubt VERY much that men would be responsible enough to take the pill regularly. Until we have to endure pregnancy and giving birth, there is little incentive for us to be concerned about taking the pill. If a bloke has to be bullied into taking out the daily rubbish, can we honestly expect him to take this pill?
Brandon, USA

What a cheek! What about those poor saps that have been told by their female partners they are taking the pill only to find out they haven't and you are now an expectant dad. What women are balking at is the thought that that control could be taken out of their hands.
GB, Scotland

The male pill is a very good idea. Some may say that men will forget to take it but will they? Women have to remember to take it so would men. I would use it if it was available and on NHS. This would provide us with and even encourage protected sex more. This would also cut the number of unwanted babies, and stop them growing up in an unstable environment.
Danny Moore, England



The discussion of this point has focussed on two issues, health and trust.

Chris, Canada
The discussion of this point has focussed on two issues, health and trust. The first will be answered in the fullness of time (and I for one will await the outcome). The second is a little more tricky, but can be quantified, although not scientifically.
Chris, Canada

It would really only be practical in a marriage or similar trusting partnership type of relationship, not for casual encounters. It's a good idea though and would bring equality within longstanding relationships even closer.
Susan J Matthews, Scotland

The pill is about reproductive freedom and control. I know of at least one incident where a woman went off the pill on purpose to manipulate a casual relationship into something more serious, without telling her partner. Why shouldn't men benefit from the same kind of control on his reproductive process as women have had? There's nothing stopping both partners from "being on the pill". I think it brings a measure of equality back into the game.
Paul Vallee, Canada



I would use the pill if it were deemed safe. But I wouldn't use it for casual sex, due to the risk of disease.

AD, Japan
I would use the pill if it were deemed safe. But I wouldn't use it for casual sex, due to the risk of disease. As for the issue of male versus female rationality concerning sex, such sexist stereotypes were made passe by feminism, no?
AD, Japan

I would take it if I knew about all of the side effects and had a regular partner. I would be too afraid of STDs to give up condoms unless I knew the girl very well. I am reliable. In reference to the comment about guys not calling, I usually have girls apologising to me for not calling even when I wasn't expecting a call from her. When another person is involved, I have no trouble taking responsibility.
Slade Simon, USA

As a nearly married man I don't think the male pill will catch on. Men merely make small donations in the conception of babies, so why do we need to worry? The woman should be held 100% responsible for any unwanted pregnancies. After all, it is the woman who has to carry the baby for 9 months, breast-feed and stay at home until the child is old enough to get married. We men must go out to work to support our families. We are just too busy to remember to pop little pills. Such trivial responsibilities should be left with the women folk.
Dr. S, UK



I don't even trust a man to call when he says he will, let alone something of that magnitude

WGS, UK
I don't even trust a man to call when he says he will, let alone something of that magnitude. What happens when the man forgets to take his pill and the woman who really does not what to be pregnant is? Could you sue for negligence?
WGS, UK

It's not whether men would take the pill; it's whether any woman would trust them to be taking it reliably, when the man bears few of the consequences of contraception going wrong.
Rob, UK

I don't think it's a fair question asking if a woman would trust a man taking the male pill. I think it all depends on how responsible the person is whether they be male or female. I forget to take the pill from time to time but who doesn't? I think it all depends on the person and each situation when it comes the time of the day when you take it and not what sex you are!
Kathy, England



In a heartbeat! Who wouldn't do without a condom, given half a chance?

Brian Keener, Germany
In a heartbeat! Who wouldn't do without a condom, given half a chance? This whole business of putting on the condom as part of imaginative foreplay is a load of hooey written by a woman. We have two children already and my wife says if I want more I have to have them with someone else, so short of converting to Islam, I would gladly go on the pill. My credit card's ready, where do I submit?
Brian Keener, Germany

With the advent of big-time child support and supporting ex-partners, who decides to stay home to look after the little darlings, yes I would take the pill. It will give men a little say in the matter of procreation. Imagine - no more getting pregnant to trap the guy!
Collin, Canada

I would want to look very carefully into the safety aspects and the possible long term effects before I would consider taking such a pill .
Oliver Dour, UK

No way! If women want to use chemical contraception that's up to them, but I don't want to ingest any odd chemicals, thank you very much.
Mark Verth, UK

I am a male (manifestly) and I would want a certified chemist to substantiate that it is safe before I bought it!
Peter Crawford-Bolton, British, in US



Of course I would use the male contraceptive pill, provided there are no health-related side effects to doing so.

Rath Andor, USA
Of course I would use the male contraceptive pill, provided there are no health-related side effects to doing so. The chance to avoid the use of condoms but still wrest power over birth control from the female monopoly is a wonderful opportunity. Of course, if I had any doubts about my sexual partner (s), I'd go running for those condoms (or the door) faster than you can say "Have you been tested?"
Rath Andor, USA

I would feel uncomfortable using a male pill in light of the fact that so many women I know have had serious problems with the female pill. I'm not quite sure that the jury's in on the female pill, & I don't much feel like playing Russian Roulette with my health just to have fun. Until the right one comes along, there's always good old Trojans, or more creative modes of expressions.
Michael Elam, US

What man wouldn't take it, but what woman would trust a man to take it?
Ian Chard, Scotland

I would have no problem taking the pill. However, would it be cheaply available on the NHS?
Gareth H, UK

Who doesn't want the baby? It's their responsibility to choose contraception carefully. The Pill offers no protection against STD's, so unless you're in a serious relationship you still need barrier protection. If you are in a serious relationship, you can discuss and agree the issue. If a woman wants a baby but her partner doesn't, at least he will now have a way of protecting himself from being used as a sperm-machine and trapped by an 'accident'.
Jenni, UK



Ha ha ha ha! I can almost hear it now "I don't need to wear a condom, love, I'm on the pill" Yeah, right.

Sarah,
Ha ha ha ha! I can almost hear it now "I don't need to wear a condom, love, I'm on the pill" Yeah, right. I'd trust me current long-term partner, because at the end of the day we'd both have to deal with the consequences. I would imagine that he'd be more likely to forget than me though. I'd actually welcome the chance to stop swallowing hormones every day if the pill became popular for men. I certainly wouldn't rely on any man who told me they were on the pill if I were in a casual relationship.
Sarah,

If you are in a loving stable relationship then I cannot see any problem in taking this pill. As long as medically it is safe to take, and that it will not prevent you from "producing the goods" when the time is right. If you are not in a steady relationship then it's a definite NO, especially with AIDS and all that. Not forgetting that the man doesn't carry the "can".
PP, England



I see this as an extremely positive development for men

Alan, UK
Of course men would use the male pill; it is almost as much a liberation of men as the female pill was for women. A man will no longer be able to be "suckered" by a woman who might want to have a child and not care whether she destroys the life of a man whom she takes, claiming to be on the pill. I see this as an extremely positive development for men
Alan, UK

Personally, I don't see what's wrong with the "rhythm method". I use it all the time. Having said that, my very existence is living proof that it doesn't always work!
Brendan Fernandes, England

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23 Feb 00 |  Health
Most men 'would take the pill'
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