Male contraception
Advances in male contraception - overview
Markets for new generations of male contraception
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The politics (sexual & otherwise) of male contraception
Related topic - Reproductive trends for never-together men & women
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Markets for new generations of male contraception

"Why are women commenting on this anyhow? This is an issue about men's rights and freedoms. Why should "we" trust you?" (Chris, UK)

"Most men I know would DEFINATELY take it. Who wants an unwanted baby or the paying out of maintenance?" (Steve, England)

"The title of this forum misses an important point. The wonderful point about the male pill is that both sexes will be in control of their fertility. This could mean the end of a woman unilaterally and secretly coming off the pill and intentionally becoming pregnant without any reference to her partner." (Andrew C, UK)

"Trust someone else with my health and well being? I don't think so! At least if I am taking "The Pill" I know that some precaution is being taken." (Alyson, Canada)

"Men are just not responsible enough to take the pill." (Zahida Parveen, UK)

"Take a pill everyday? They can't even remember to put the toilet seat down! We are better off to leave the responsibility to the woman, men have been making them responsible for centuries!" (Mildred, USA)

"... believes a male pill is not the solution because many men will not take it and many women will not trust them". (Professor John Guillebaud, medical director for Margaret Pyke family planning clinics).

These are taken from on-line surveys conducted by the BBC: "Will men take the pill?"; "Would you trust a man to take the pill?".

It is interesting to see just how many people totally miss the point! (Which of the above statements do you think miss the point?)

(And in response to "Mildred" - how many women remember to put the toilet seat up?)

The markets for high quality male contraceptives

Overpopulated developing countries

Name 2 such countries. China & India?

These 2 countries are at the leading edge of the science and technology of advanced male contraceptives. They have tested millions of men with cheap devices that might be the envy of men in the more developed "west".

A "problem" is that these countries are developing cheap contraceptives which the drug & other companies in "the west" may not be able to make a useful profit from. So China & India may deploy these contraceptives to many millions of men while "the west" dithers and/or develops more expensive options that companies can make a profit from.

People in stable trusting relationships

The woman gets tired of using the pill. "It's your turn now". "OK, dear".

This is a "replacement market". Its unattractiveness to the manufacturers of traditional contraceptives is that it reduces part of their traditional market and replaces it with an equivalent new market that they have to spend vast amounts of money to develop for. They would rather not have to do this, but once one company does, the rest have to. If drug companies think this is their main market, they will move slowly. It probably isn't their main market, but they need to be convinced.

Men who don't want any of the consequences of being a bio-father

Chris, Steve, and Andrew C (above) represent this market. This may be the most important market in "the Western world" for high quality male contraceptives. Men who want to veto conception in order to protect themselves from perhaps £50k - £70k of child support payments over the next 18 years. People who think that it is only women who suffer the consequences of unwanted pregnancies are living in some strange fantasy world, perhaps based in the mid-20th-Century. With the CSA, and especially with the relentless progress of DNA testing, the bio-fathers of unwanted - by them - children also suffer. (If you can call the payment of £50k - £70k "suffering").

This is a new market. There will be men using these contraceptives even when their female partner is continuing to use her contraceptives. These men may be married and in long term relationships, or in shorter term relationships, or having one-night stands. They are simply men who want sex and don't want a bio-child to result. (And that is probably lots of men most of the time!) This market may be massive and ready to go. Their requirements are:

Safe (of course)

Reliable (there is £50k - £70k hanging on this!)

Unobtrusive (why confuse the issue - she can look after her concerns, he just wants to get his leg over without financial risk)

As a result, this should be the last generation in "the Western world" when a significant proportion of children born were not wanted, or at least accepted, by both man & woman at time of sex. People who actually want children will have to negotiate with a partner to stop them using their unobtrusive contraceptives.


National characteristics

Male contraception will have to be accepted by the FDA in the USA, or the equivalent in other countries. The FDA is probably one of the harder agencies to satisfy, but it can be done. For this & other reasons it is probably that such methods to be widely available in India & China before the USA.

Who knows when it will be in any particular country? The date of 2003 has been quoted for RISUG in India, and 2005 for the Edinburgh "pill", but they may simply be optimistic. So "perhaps 2010" is a somewhat cautious date for "the West". Remember that over half-a-million men in China have undergone years of trials during the 1990s. While "the West" agonises, the countries with serious population pressures, aided by the World Health Organisation, are getting on with it, sometimes using home-grown technologies.

But ... how do businesses make enough money for their R&D spend to be worthwhile? THIS is the real question - developing this next generation of male contraceptives is simple compared with making money out of it. Indeed. This will change from country to country. India & China have their rules. The USA has its rules. Other countries, such as the UK have their rules.

In India & China this isn't such a big problem. They have serious population pressures, they have developed some technologies way beyond the rest of the world, they have trialed using more than half-a-million men, and they are going ahead relentlessly. It is more of an issue with "the West".

The USA is rather special - the FDA tends to be quite strict, but more importantly businesses can expect 1000s of lawsuits. So the USA deserves to be last to receive advanced treatment. This will probably be the case with the next generation of male contraceptives - the particular conditions in the USA will cause men in the USA to be rather late receiving the benefits, resulting in 1000s of extra Child Support cases. (Pity the children).

It has been said that satisfying the FDA may cost $70 million.


Even if these contraceptives become available within years, it will take a lot longer for "everyone" to understand the consequences. This is why, just above, it "the last generation". It may take this amount of time before people have adapted to "the new order".

Young people won't get wise at first. Perhaps their parents will have to contracept them without their knowledge! Given the right sort of contraceptives (and India's RISUG technology looks pretty good) it could be a matter of being contracepted by default until a decision is made to remove it.

There will continue to be stupid men. But once it is clear that men have good choices available, there will be little sympathy for men who don't make sensible choices. "She fooled me into thinking she was on the pill". "So what - you should have used your own contraception anyway". Quite!

Some women may have trouble adapting. There may even be court cases: "I want a divorce unless he stops using his contraceptives". Hm!

Gradually the assumption will be - "if you are the bio-parent, you must have wanted the child, or at least accepted it, at time of sex. So stop wasting our time - pay up". Quite!

It will take a generation to confirm that this is right.

Learn from your parent's mistakes:
use birth control

Page last updated: 5 July, 2004 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2003