Leah Panapa: Would you take male equivalent of 'the pill'?

Opinion 30/03/2019
Photo: File.

By Leah Panapa, Magic Talk Nights host.

OPINION: When it comes to birth control the responsibility has mostly been placed on women for whom a variety of contraceptive methods have been developed over the years.

Scientists have been searching for a long time for a male contraceptive pill and may have finally discovered one that could work. 

In the past, a male equivalent of the pill has been difficult to manufacture due to the challenge of suppressing testosterone to low enough levels to avoid active sperm without the side effects of low hormone levels.  

This week it was announced a new drug has just been evaluated for safety, but still needs to go through effectiveness testing.   

Currently known as 11-beta-MTDC; not very sexy but will no doubt be called something snappier if it ever gets to the shelves,  but the research so far looks promising. 

For over half a century women worldwide have had access to the contraceptive pill, and although many lament why don't men share the burden of birth control, will we trust them to reliably take their pill when it becomes available?

I asked my listeners that very question and got feedback along the lines of "my husband forgets things on a daily basis, how can I be sure he has taken the pill?"

The men on the other hand I spoke with all said they would be happy to take it - as long as there were no adverse side effects.

In the past we may have thought men did not care about birth control, but that is increasingly changing, and the research dollars, which have primarily been focused on women is changing too. 

But before you throw away your pills ladies, researchers say it could be a decade before a male pill is on the market.

Leah Panapa is host of Magic Talk Nights.