“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.
Dr. Coventry said that more work needs to be done before both sexes can equally share the responsibility of a contraceptive pill.
“Until our culture moves toward sexual education of young men to the same standard as that provided for young women regarding sexual health, contraception, responsibilities of pregnancy or unwanted pregnancy, and associated emotional issues, the issue of women giving up full control of contraceptive to men is academic,” she said.
Despite the acceptance and demand by both sexes, pharmaceutical companies have been a force of resistance in getting the drug out to the public.
For several years, many drug companies have pulled funding toward the development of the drug including a hormone-regulated World Health Organization drug that was ready to be trialed on humans.
Experts report that “Big pharma” companies don’t believe that there is a market for the drug despite its popularity in research.
“It’s very disappointing for both consumers and researchers that the pharmaceutical industry has refused to rise to the challenge of taking new contraceptive options to market,” O’Bryan said. “We can all see what a positive impact new contraceptive options – male or female – could have globally.
“In a world where we still have crushing poverty and an emerging global warming problem, investment in facilitating the individual’s right to control their fertility would seem of obvious benefit.”