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Would you take the male 'pill'?

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Well, more like an injection. Vasalgel is estimated to hit the market by 2020, but would you consider using it? We asked two ShortList writers for their thoughts 


Jonny

Let’s start by rephrasing the question: ‘Would you like someone to stick a needle into your scrotum?’ If ‘No’, then stop right there – like me, this new form of male contraception is not for you. If ‘Yes’, then… what the hell is wrong with you?

Beyond the needle-in-scrotum issue that’s making my testicles retract into my body in fear, there’s a simple issue – I just don’t want to mess around with that body function. It’s too important. And I certainly don’t want to be one of the first. The female pill has been around for more than 50 years – it’s been tested and improved.

But please don’t mistake this for a misogynistic argument of ‘it’s the woman’s responsibility’. That is not what I’m saying. There are ways of avoiding pregnancy that don’t involve flooding your body with hormones, attaching a copper device to your womb or, in this instance, blocking your tubes with plastic.

Contraception is the responsibility of both people in a relationship (however short-lived that might be), and the method used should be something they’re both comfortable with. And that needle in my scrotum just doesn’t sound very comfortable.


Olly

I don’t see what the big deal is. Aside from it being a bit Dark Ages for any man to expect a woman to be in sole charge of preventing accidental babies, if you could have one injection in exchange for a decade of knowing you won’t be a dad unless you want to be, why not?

Sure, the idea of someone putting a needle anywhere near your gentleman’s area is unappealing, but presumably it would be a very small needle, there would be numbing involved and the doctor would give you a sticker for being brave, right?

It’s just a blocking of the pipes rather than the chopping of anything (I’m assuming the possibility of explosion due to pressure build-up has been ruled out?) and you don’t have to remember to take a pill every day. That’s easy. That’s less traumatic and time-consuming than going to the dentist. It still only makes sense for people in relationships, because if it’s not stopping STIs then it’s not much use to any responsible single person, but otherwise I don’t see much to object to.

All that said, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere near it until some very thorough trials had been done.


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