What is the male pill?
In the past 50 years, there have been few changes in male contraception compared with the range of options available to women. Although there's ongoing research into a male contraceptive pill, there isn't one available yet.
At the moment, the only contraceptive methods available to men are:
- condoms – a barrier form of contraception that stops sperm from reaching and fertilising an egg
- vasectomy – a minor, usually permanent, surgical procedure that stops sperm from reaching the semen ejaculated from the penis
Some men use the withdrawal method, of pulling their penis out of their partner's vagina before ejaculating, to prevent pregnancy. However, this is not recommended, as sperm can be released before ejaculation.
Research into male contraception
Researchers are optimistic that a safe, effective and reversible method of male contraception will eventually become a reality, although this is still several years away.
Read more about the latest research into this area:
Page last reviewed: 7 November 2017
Next review due: 7 November 2020