New research suggests that men may have difficulty taking a contraceptive pill regularly.
Researchers at Monash University have developed a male contraceptive pill.
Scientists mutated a gene that is described as fuel delivered to the engine room of a sperm’s tail.
“It’s one extra piece of the puzzle to finding out how sperm are made and has opened the door to see what else is going on,” said Monash University’s Professor Moira O’Bryan about her team’s discovery.
This isn’t the first breakthrough in male contraception this year. In earlier months, international scientists found that a birth control drug already being used can be utilized as a reversible contraceptive in male mice.
Although the drug is in its early stages of development, the battle between the sexes has already started.
Industry experts were asked if they believed males were reliable enough to take a contraceptive habitually.
“Given my partner, as wonderful as he is, has trouble remembering to take a multi-vitamin or to feed the cat on occasion, my instinctive response is ‘no’,” said Melbourne-based psychologist Dr. Traci Coventry. “To be clear though, I do not think the male contraceptive is a bad idea. On the contrary, I think it’s about time men stepped up and shared responsibility for contraception.”
Women have been in control of the birth control pill since its development in the 1960s. Therefore, it is difficult for many to imagine handing over the reins to the other sex.
“But I’ve never seen any evidence women are more likely to remember to take medication,” said Professor O’Bryan.
She referenced a study conducted by the University of Edinburgh showing that only two-percent of women trust that their male partners would consistently take the pill.
“The acceptance rate was high, so there is a market for it,” she said. “These are couples in stable relationships and he wanted to give her a rest from taking a contraceptive. A high percentage of women have side effects: swelling, mood swings – it’s not an ideal drug.”
The male contraceptive also shifts the ground on men taking control over situations where they have unintentionally become fathers. It also gives them more control in situations such as one-night stands and casual relationships. However, researchers still believe that women hold the most responsibility in accidental pregnancies.