Talking sex: Why male contraception is still a challenge

The burden of contraception has mostly been the responsibility of women until the introduction of condoms and vasectomy.

Women have been the ones responsible for family planning and making sure there are no unwanted pregnancies.

An overseas study has shown that a new birth control pill for men appears to be safe when used daily for a month, with hormone responses consistent with effective contraception.

Dr Shingai Mutambirwa, head of Department of Urology at Dr George Mukhari academic hospital says about 50% of pregnancies are unplanned.

Dr Shingai says the reason there is still no contraceptive for men is not that it's not possible but it has more to do with the side effects.

Its been a long process. We've been investigating this for the last 30 years but unfortunately, we haven't come up with a full proof contraceptive plan.

Dr Shingai Mutambirwa, Urologist

The reason why it's not is that we can't suppress the sperm count. It's just about the side effects and about reversibility. Whenever you are having contraceptives people can change their minds and want to go back to having babies so if we having medication that is causing them to be permanently infertile it can be a problem.

Dr Shingai Mutambirwa, Urologist

Dr Shingai says it could still be a long way until the production of contraceptives that are safe in terms of side effects and reversibility.

I think realistically it could take about five years but could be longer than that.

Dr Shingai Mutambirwa, Urologist

He further explains another male contraception method that has been developed over the years, its downside and the reasons why it's still a problem.

To hear more about male contraception with Dr Shingai Mutambirwa, listen below:


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