Male Contraceptives

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New York Times reporter Pam Belluck discusses medical advances toward a male contraceptive and the social impact it could have.

Listeners: Is this an attractive option? Men: Would you take it? Women: Would you want him to? Call us or comment here!


Pam Belluck

Comments [24]

Ed from Larchmont

And although couples that use NFP have to abstain during certain days if they are trying to avoid pregnancy, which increases self-control, they have sex more frequently, statistically, than couples that use contraception. Women deserve better than these steroids, and so do men.

Jul. 29 2011 07:06 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I would no sooner take a drug that would deform my body than I would cut off a finger. On the other hand, I would not ask a woman (any woman, but especially one whom I profess to love) to take steroids (which we won't let athletes take) to deform her body either. (Not to mention that the pill is a level 1 carcinogen - CDC, especially for women who have never lactated.) The caller mentioned the rythym method, which is about 90% effective (over one year of use - 90% of people who don't want a child avoid pregnancy), which is close to the success rate of condoms (92%), and condoms can have small cuts that are large enough to allow the AIDS virus through. The rythym method wasn't able to account for irregular cycles, but it was replaced in the late 1960s with Natural Family Planning (see Janet E. Smith, Damon Owens, etc.), which scientists developed. NFP is 98-99% effective, and couples that use it divorce at a 2% rate instead of a 25-50% rate because they communicate much better, and it makes sex self-giving, not selfish. One out of five adults have some sexually transmitted disease (and it's higher for younger people since that figure includes everyone). For Brian Lehrer, who is anti-God and anti-religion (an agnostic who doesn't say 'I don't know', but 'it's not possible to know' - how do you know so much about the unknown to say that it's unknowable? - GK Chesterton), this is just science, but these people ignore science when it's convenient. The Catholic Church appoved of NFP when the scientists presented it because of its many benefits. So I recommend NFP to any couple for its many, many advantages, one of which is that it avoids these ridiculous and shameful, self-deforming considerations about trying to achieve low sperm counts, etc.

Jul. 29 2011 06:25 AM
George from nyc

If the guy is ok taking it, have his girl feed it to him to make sure he takes it!

Jul. 28 2011 06:18 PM
Amy from Manhattan

MedihaKos, I agree--it's not that it's sexist, it's about who has to deal w/the consequences. Maybe the "manliness" issue could be turned around: you're so virile, your fertility has to be held back with a drug!

But the issue of trust is a major one, since there's no way to tell if a man is taking the drug.

Jul. 28 2011 12:28 PM
Betty from Brooklyn

I'm not a man, but a lot of men I know enjoy their social and financial freedom and would NOT want a child now. Yes, pregnancy and childbirth affect women more, but being a parent (even if it's just to send child support) is a serious undertaking. However, why don't more men get vasectomies? Aren't they reversible?

Jul. 28 2011 12:20 PM

Elizabeth from Yonkers - lol, point taken. :)

Jul. 28 2011 12:09 PM
Ellen from Brooklyn

I would still use another method of pregnancy prevention, as a precaution. Not because I don't trust men, but unwanted pregnancy is a serious issue, especially as the woman who would be carrying the fetus.

I think contraception options for men is a nice option, to give them more control over their own bodies and possible offspring.

Condoms may still be the best option for the reasons Carolita already mentioned. If you're worried your partner is delineating poking holes in them, you shouldn't be having sex with them to begin with!

Jul. 28 2011 12:06 PM
MP from Brooklyn

Becky, that's funny!

Jul. 28 2011 12:05 PM
palma from brooklyn

i know a lot of men who are getting women pregnant and the women are choosing to have the babies. which they are not very happy about. so for some men it is for their own good to be on the pill

Jul. 28 2011 12:03 PM
MedihaKos from Manhattan

Unfortunately, reproduction has never been the responsibility of men in our society. I dont know how we would be able to condition men to start thinking that it is as much of a men's issue as a women's issue.

I don't think it would be as effective because of the male psyche and the expectations we put on men in our society.
Men may feel less "manly" as a result of this.

Also, the consequences for men are not as great as they are for women... they are not the ones getting pregnant!

That said, I don;t think we should stop trying to make this successful. I would love to see this be successful!

I wonder if insurance companies will cover this male pill- I still have to pay $40 for mine each month.

Jul. 28 2011 12:03 PM
Elizabeth from Yonkers

One of ten children. Parents used natural family planning. Generally a disaster.

Jul. 28 2011 12:03 PM
Liz from NYC

It is not that the pill (or chemicals, altered hormones, etc) are "empowering." It is that being able to have sex without the risk of having a baby is empowering.

Jul. 28 2011 12:02 PM

I don't think condoms have a lower effectiveness rate than most other forms of birth control. They're 98 or 99 percent effective when used properly. That's certainly gonna be better than rhythm methods or chinese herbalism.

Jul. 28 2011 12:02 PM
The Truth from Becky

Ladies, do you really want to roll the die on the man remembering the contraceptive? They don't want to put down the toilet seat. Good luck with that!

Jul. 28 2011 12:01 PM
Elizabeth from Brooklyn, NY

Two Comments: 1st for the ladies, if you don't trust him, don't sleep with him.
Then for the caller about the rhythm method - My brother-in-law and his wife have used it religiously for 18 years. They now have nine children. It doesn't even remotely work.

Jul. 28 2011 11:58 AM

I agree with this caller 100%. Rhythm method works and avoids uncomfortable hormonal changes/weight gain.....etc.

Jul. 28 2011 11:58 AM
TC from LI

Its not about having a woman trust you to take it. Its about not having to trust her anymore. Everyones responsible for their own 'fertility' and no one gets any unpleasant surprises (although obviously no methods are 100%).

And condoms are significantly less effective than most other contraceptives methods.

Jul. 28 2011 11:57 AM
Vreni Hommes

PBS Newshour had a story a few days ago about a plant in Indonesia with a chemical that is an effective male contraceptive. It is being tested on humans & has 100% success rate. It has no side effects!

Jul. 28 2011 11:57 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@ Vreni
I also saw something on that just the other day and it sounded great. I'd like to hear more about that.

Jul. 28 2011 11:56 AM
MP from Brooklyn

This caller is obviously nuts - why did you let her go on so long?

Jul. 28 2011 11:56 AM
average joe from nyc

would it make my penis bigger?

Jul. 28 2011 11:53 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

The only male contraception I would trust is a vasectomy.

Jul. 28 2011 11:52 AM
Dick from at work

There is a great FREE male contraceptive. It's a rough pebble. You put it in your shoe and it makes you limp...

Jul. 28 2011 11:16 AM
carolita from NYC

Why should women trust men who say they're regularly taking their contraceptive? That would be just plain dumb. Haha. "Trust me, honey, I'm on the pill."

It's called a condom! Great little thing that prevents transmission of STDs. I've long said that women shouldn't have to disrupt their hormones, but why should men do it?

Jul. 28 2011 10:14 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.