Male pill extends options for couples

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 August, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 August, 2000, 12:00am

I refer to the letter from J. Wilson headlined, 'Pill puzzler'(South China Morning Post, July 31).

The Post articles referred to (July 24 and 26), were well-researched and balanced reports on the developments in contraception in the past decade or so. They discussed the issues of male and female contraception and their acceptability in modern-day society. In the process of helping individual persons and couples practise family planning, we adopt the principle of 'informed choice'.

People need to be given the information to allow them to choose which contraceptive method is best suited for them, balancing the method's effectiveness, safety, acceptability and any non-contraceptive benefits against its potential risks and side effects and cost. The non-contraceptive benefits of the female pill are but one factor in the equation and there are many couples who opt for other methods because of their other attributes. The introduction of a male pill or injectable does not contradict the non-contraceptive benefits of the female pill. It only extends the options available for people to choose from, and is therefore a welcome development.

It also strengthens the role that men have to play in family planning or preventing unwanted pregnancy, which should be a shared responsibility between the genders.


Executive Director

The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong