Potential Impact of Hormonal Male Contraception: Cross-Cultural Implications for Development of Novel Preparations

Hum Reprod. 2000 Mar;15(3):637-45. doi: 10.1093/humrep/15.3.637.


The prospect of a hormonal male contraceptive is no longer distant. Data on the potential impact of this improvement in contraceptive provision, however, is limited, particularly between different cultures. We have therefore carried out a multi-centre study to assess men's attitudes to proposed novel hormonal methods. Questionnaire-based structured interviews were administered to men in Edinburgh, Cape Town, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Approximately 450 men were interviewed in Edinburgh, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and a slightly larger group (n = 493) in Cape Town to give samples (n > 150) of black, coloured and white men. Knowledge of existing male and female methods of contraception was high in all centres and groups. The majority of men welcomed a new hormonal method of contraception, 44-83% stating that they would use a male contraceptive pill. Overall, a pill was more acceptable than an injectable form (most popularly given at 3-6 month intervals); long-acting implants were least so except in Shanghai. Familiarity with comparable female methods appeared to influence acceptability, for both oral and injectable methods. Hong Kong was the only centre where a male method (condom) was currently the most commonly used; men there appeared to rate the convenience of condoms highly while being least likely to think that they provided effective protection against pregnancy compared to other centres, and were least enthusiastic about novel male methods. The acceptability of potential male hormonal methods of contraception was high in some groups but showed wide variability, determining factors including cultural background and current contraceptive usage. These results suggest that the emerging emphasis that men should have greater involvement in family planning will be substantiated when appropriate contraceptive methods become available.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • China
  • Contraception / methods
  • Contraception / psychology*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Male* / administration & dosage
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • South Africa
  • Spermatozoa / physiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom


  • Contraceptive Agents, Male