male birth control pill underway; what a twitter poll tells us | The new time
If you have doubts that contraception is perceived as a “women’s issue,” go to the nearest health center and look at the line of people waiting to be served at doors marked “Contraception.” The only males you can find there are babies crying on their mothers’ backs.
But earlier this year, a team of scientists announced they had developed a male oral contraceptive pill that is 99 percent effective in mice without causing side effects, and that it could enter human trials by the end of this year. wrote AFP.
Scientists argue that if the pill succeeds, it will not only share the responsibility for birth control more equitably; It will also expand options for men who currently rely on condoms and vasectomies.
However, it is also worth noting that doubts are high as to whether the target consumers, men, should take it as they are hesitant about the options already available.
While existing male contraceptives are effective, they cannot be relied upon completely. For example, although male condoms are 98 percent effective, mistakes increase the risk of breakage, slipping, or other condom failures.
According to an article by the American broadcaster NBC News; “Condom Use 101: Basic Mistakes Are So Common, Study Finds,” they reported that in various studies, between 0.8 percent and 40.7 percent of participants reported the experience of a non-working condom, and that in others the frequency of having sex with a broken condom was up to 32.8 percent.
Additionally, 13.1 percent and 19.3 percent of participants reported condom slippage, while condom leakage occurred in between 0.4 percent and 6.5 percent of the sexual encounters studied, with 7.6 percent of men and 12.5 percent of men of women reported an experience with a leaky condom.
Various other studies have also shown that while vasectomies have a high success rate, reversing the surgical procedure can be difficult and expensive, but only in cases where it is possible.
According to a 2020 report by FHI 360, a human development non-profit organization, there were 1,693,730 married men in Rwanda, almost all of them; 1,152,869, wishing to limit future births.
However, only 3,872 of them had vasectomies, for reasons including little to no awareness, according to 39-year-old Karekezi (not his real name), a Kigali resident.
He is married and already has two children, but his wife uses birth control.
“When a woman gives birth, the hospital will ask her what method of birth control she would like to use; they even encourage them. But they don’t go up to men and tell them about the vasectomy,” Karekezi said.
He also noted that the “serious side effects” of vasectomy make him not want to have them. “I’ve also never met anyone who’s had a vasectomy,” he added.
You might think the “pills” message would blow the socks off of karekezi and people with the same fears, but no, it doesn’t!
“I’m not sure how safe it is, so I don’t want to be among the first to try it. I don’t want it to affect my sexual performance,” Karekezi said.
However, he’s not on the same page as 24-year-old Habimana (not her real name), who can’t wait to go on the pill. He usually uses condoms, but he also keeps an eye on the pills because it would lighten the burden of contraception on women.
“I think it would be better if men were more involved in contraception, too,” Habimana said.
In a Twitter poll by The New Times asking if men would take the pill if it came on the market, 186 people responded within 24 hours. 49 percent of them said they would take it, 31 percent said they wouldn’t, and 19 percent said they weren’t sure.
According to Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) reproductive health officer Joel Serucaca, men are generally reluctant when it comes to contraception.
“The usual form of contraception here in Rwanda is male condoms. Yes, I think the pill will upgrade male contraception, but there’s still a long way to go. A lot of men think it’s none of their business; Understanding will be slow,” Serucaca said.
A licensed male birth control pill should have high relevance in Rwanda, where 295,000 pregnancies are unwanted each year and 84,300 of them end in abortion, whose law is also restrictive.