Dr. Jonty Heaversedge explains the ins and outs of the Male Pill.
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Emma Howard: Hello! I am Emma Howard and I am joined by Dr. Jonty Heaversedge. He is an expert on men's health problems. Hello Jonty! Dr. Jonty Heaversedge: Hi Emma! Emma Howard: I've got a simple question but a direct one for you, what exactly is the male pill and where can I get it? Dr. Jonty Heaversedge: Wow! Okay. You know, I am not aware if there being a male pill yet available. There has been a lot of talk about male pills, certainly there have been articles in the newspapers and so on. But as far as I am aware as a GP, looking after men's health, I don't prescribe any sort of hormonal table for men at the moment for contraception. Emma Howard: And how do they strike you as a GP, how do you feel about a male pill? Dr. Jonty Heaversedge: Well, I think it's interesting, I mean obviously it's something that is lot of a search on to way in terms of developing hormonal pills to cut off sperm production. For many years women have been taking hormones in order to prevent ovulation for contraception. So in many senses it makes sense. I think what's interesting is how women will respond to the male pill, because actually it must take really a significant degree of trust to know if you are concerned about becoming pregnant yourself to know that, that a men is taking that pill and therefore that you are safe from becoming pregnant. Emma Howard: Yes, it's been in the domain of women looking after their own contraception for so long. It would have to be a big shift wouldn't that? A lot of people will be saying how hallelujah, about time. In fact it is going to be interesting to see how will it work. Dr. Jonty Heaversedge: Absolutely. I think it would be a big mind shift. But actually -- and the other thing always to bear in mind I mean I think it will be aimed to people in committed long term relationships, because the other thing to bear in mind that obviously any form of hormonal contraception doesn't protect against sexually transmitted infection. So again in shorter term relationships or if you are ever uncertain, a condom is going to be part of your contraception. Emma Howard: Because it covers so many other things as well. Dr. Jonty Heaversedge: Exactly. Emma Howard: How far are we of having a male pill that you as a GP could prescribe do you think, how many years away? Dr. Jonty Heaversedge: I have no idea how many years. There have been a lot of research going on, both into hormonal contraceptive pills and also interestingly in the pills that prevent from ejaculation, which could be taken more sort of at the last minute or certainly would have a shorter term action. But I have only read about; and just as anyone else as I have no idea how far the research will take. Emma Howard: So we'll be waiting and seeing on that one. Jonty, thanks for your advice. Well, if you have a similar problem or a similar question, we hope might have given you some help. But remember, it's always best to go and see your own doctor for medical advice. Thanks for watching. We'll be back with more health questions and answers.