Will the male contraceptive pill ever take off?

health care  Female pharmacist hold medicine bottle pharmacist holding at drugstore
Will men go for the contraceptive pill if a male version was introduced? (Picture: Getty)

It’s been a common form of contraception for women for years now.

But if it was as readily available, would men be as likely to take the contraceptive pill?

According to a YouGov poll earlier this year, yes they would.

The poll found that one in three (33%) sexually active men would consider taking a male version of the pill - exactly the same percentage of women who currently use hormonal contraception.

Among 25 to 49-year-olds - the group most likely to be sexually active - the figure rises to four in ten (40%), again pretty much the same proportion as women in this age group currently using it.

Male pill
Male pill

The topic is up for discussion in the latest episode of Yahoo UK’s podcast, Britain Is a Nation Of..., which looks at health.

Speaking on the podcast, doctor, writer, medical journalist and broadcaster Dr Patricia McNair said she still thinks contraception is probably something that women feel more responsible for.

“Maybe I’m wrong but I think women are more used to compromise and still worry more about getting pregnant,” she said.

Her view isn’t necessarily echoed by the general population, with the YouGov poll showing that eight in ten Brits think women and men should share responsibility for contraception.

According to the poll, 79% of Britons saw the development of the male pill as a positive development, saying men and women should take equal responsibility for making sure appropriate contraception methods are used.


Despite that, McNair thinks men will still veer away from something like the pill, even if it’s available.

“I think men tend to think it’s a woman’s responsibility if they want to be really sure,” she said.

“Men might go for something that they don’t have to think about all the time, so a condom that they can just use if they need it.

“Whereas women obsess about it, we are constantly ingrained with, ‘you know you have to think about periods and contraception and fertility and having babies and so on.

“And also we do do a lot of the preventative health stuff, we look after the family, we are often described as the gatekeepers to health for the family and so we think about it all the time and I think we don’t trust men to be reliable.

“We think about these things a lot more whereas men might go prepared for emergencies, which is often their approach to many health things.”

This survey was made possible by YouGov’s panel of 6 million respondents. Join the trend and share your opinions with the world today.

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