The Current

Where's the male birth control pill?

Drug companies may be willing to supply a birth control pill for men -- however there is that little problem of demand. Today, we're asking about the slow pace of research into contraceptives for men....
Drug companies may be willing to supply a birth control pill for men -- however there is that little problem of demand. Today, we're asking about the slow pace of research into contraceptives for men.



Following our look at women getting off the pill, we ask why there are so few valid contraceptive options for men

male-birth-control-insert220.jpg

The sexual revolution would hardly have got rolling without the birth control pill. But fifty years after the turbulence the pill unleashed -- many women decline oral contraception.

MaleContraceptives.org -- Resource Website

A few weeks ago on The Current, New York magazine writer Ann Friedman shared her thoughts in our panel on what she calls "The Pullout Generation". She said many women believe their male partners would use oral contraception ... if such a pill existed.

While there are nearly a dozen different contraceptive options available to women -- men have basically two: vasectomy, or condoms. Is a male birth control pill ever going to be a viable product?



  • Dr. Ronald Weiss is a vasectomy doctor in Ottawa, and also one of the few North Americans working on what is called the RISUG method or Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance. It's a technique that was developed a few decades ago in India, and has been widely tested there... though it has yet to take on in the rest of the world. It's a simple surgery that could suppress fertility in men for up to 10 years at a time, but could be easily reversible any time a man changed his mind.

What changes would you want to see in male contraception? If you're a man, would you take a Pill? If tests show it's safe and effective, does the RISUG method sound like something you'd try? And if you're a woman, would you want -- or trust -- your partner to take responsibility for birth control.

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Follow us on Facebook. Or e-mail us through our website. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current's Peter Mitton.


Other Related Stories from our Archives


Rebelling against the pill:
'Pulling-Out' of conventional birth control







Are the risks of taking Yaz & Yasmin too great?







Last Word - David Nutt on alcohol addiction

Men may not be anxious to take a birth control drug, but British pharmacologist David Nutt hopes to develop a drug that people may line up to take. It would mimic the effects of alcohol -- and could be blocked by taking an antidote. "Drinkers" could theoretically sober up immediately and return to work or drive home.

Dr. Nutt is a former drug advisor to the British Department of Health and says his substitute could end alcohol addiction. It's an issue he's been concerned about for years. He gets today's last Word.

 


Condom Photo Above: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.