MaleContraceptives.org is a project of the nonprofit International Male Contraception Coalition. The Coalition’s sole objective is to speed the development of safe, effective and convenient contraceptives for men. The Coalition hopes to bring family planning into the 21st century by expanding and improving the range of contraceptive methods available to men.
To that end, the Coalition works both with scientific researchers and the public. The Coalition’s public role is to spread the word about potential male contraceptives and facilitate citizen activism by
- continuing to inform and educate through an active web site and publishing a monthly e-newsletter
- expanding the funding base for research by providing resources for legislative activism directed at Congressional subcommittees and advocacy directed at NGO and government policymakers, and other cultural thought leaders
- gaining issue recognition by working with the media to provide reporters with news hooks, interviews, research materials and contacts
- providing a public voice for members of men's health groups and other consumers eagerly awaiting these products by posting their comments and polling them on issues such as the marketability and desired formulations of a male contraceptive.
Within the scientific community the Coalition furthers medical research, acting as a networking hub and advocacy facilitator by
- helping researchers communicate directly with a community of colleagues and potential funders, thus facilitating the exchange of information about grant announcements, grant awards, graduate student and research associate positions, and project proposals or requests for funding
- brokering collaborations among far-flung principal investigators; helping to improve communication between researchers and policymakers with differing intellectual, cultural and social backgrounds
- collaborating with other contraceptive advocacy organizations
- providing resources and consulting to enable researchers to leverage news of their work into press opportunities, aiding in effective communication with the public, policymakers and potential funders
- participating and presenting at family planning conferences, and supporting colleagues with background materials for their conference presentations.
Statement of need
The Coalition is committed to these goals because of the worldwide need for male contraceptives. There is widespread dissatisfaction with currently available contraceptive methods, which are unreliable in use or design or have unacceptable side effects. All methods except sterilization have a satisfaction rate of less than 60 percent.
In both developed and developing countries there is a need for new contraceptive choices. The United Sates has some of the developed world’s highest rates of abortion and unwanted pregnancies. Despite the need, new contraceptive methods for women which act after conception are the subject of intense political wrangling. Male contraceptives which act before conception are likely to face less opposition. In developing countries, the lack of accessible and affordable contraceptives leads to short birth intervals and high maternal mortality rates, leaving many children orphaned and families unable to afford educational opportunities for all their children. Some of the male methods currently in development could provide safe, reliable and affordable contraception to men in developing nations.
Men already participate widely in family planning; one third of American couples use condoms or vasectomy as their primary birth control. If better male methods were available, a greater percentage of men could share in family planning. In the past, many men were not interested in participating in birth control. But with the great generational shift which has taken place in the past two decades, men are not only beginning to share responsibility, but the are beginning to demand something even more novel: reliable control over their reproductive future. Up to 80 percent of British men surveyed, for example, see contraception as a shared responsibility. With many men reaching puberty one or even two decades before they wish to have children, control over their own fertility has become an ever greater issue.
There are male contraceptives under development that promise to be safer, more effective, more readily reversible, and more convenient than any currently available method of contraception for either men or women. The market is ready for these products. We have only to overcome the institutional barriers to their development.