Pill-ow talk: Male contraceptives on the horizon

One of our writers discusses what male contraceptives could mean for them.

Mitchell Hall
27th February 2023
With renewed talk recently of a safe contraceptive pill for men, I considered my position on contraceptives within my relationships, and how I would react if a pill for men came out, as well as how it might affect relationship dynamics in society as a whole if adopted en masse.

Currently, my girlfriend and I rely on condoms for contraception, and personally, if a male contraceptive pill came out I don't think that would immediately change, depending perhaps on the nature of the pill. Condoms would still most likely be the most convenient option available to me, I would inevitably forget to take them if the pill came in the form of a regular dose, and the uncertainty of trying to remember if I had remained up to date would introduce stress into my sex life that I could do without. If it somehow was a use-only-before-sex form then there would likely be side-effects that I wouldn’t get with condoms, and for peace of mind you can visibly see when condoms might have failed, allowing you to take action on any potential failures reliably.

It’s important that we are open to conversations with significant others regarding the division of responsibility in a relationship.

But the fact is that these are all concerns which already affect those who can get pregnant and take pill contraceptives to prevent that, so although I imagine the vast majority of men will find condoms more convenient as I do, it’s important that we are open to conversations with significant others regarding the division of responsibility in a relationship. The pill has the potential to chip away at the preconception that women are responsible for their contraception in a relationship in pill form. Couples would have more options to divide contraceptive responsibility in a way that ensures that everyone is comfortable and can enjoy sex without stress. Some might prefer sex without barrier method contraceptives, couples would be able to enjoy sex their way whilst maintaining two layers of protection for peace of mind. 

Men should universally welcome a contraceptive pill even if they personally don’t plan on pursuing that method.

More options for men and couples can only be a good thing, and men should universally welcome a contraceptive pill even if they personally don’t plan on pursuing that method. If one does come out in the near future, the key to approaching the topic is, as always, healthy and honest discussion. If you have concerns, if you would rather switch to that method from the one you currently use, whatever the case, talk to your partner and inform them of how you are feeling. If your partner approaches you and asks to talk about the current division of contraception, be open, it is not an attack on condoms, simply another option that can provide extra comfort to couples.

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