Young Adult Males' Perspectives of Male Hormonal Contraception

Megan R. Sax, MD; Emily G. Hurley, MD; Rocco A. Rossi, MD, MA; Suruchi Thakore, MD; Abhinav Hasija, PhD; Julie Sroga-Rios, MD


South Med J. 2021;114(2):73-76. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Objective: To evaluate the willingness of young adult males to use male hormonal contraception and to determine the most desirable formulation.

Methods: An institutional review board–approved survey measuring the willingness to use MHC was dispersed to two distinct populations: University of Cincinnati postgraduate programs and Cincinnati Health Department clinics. Questions on the survey allowed for the collection of demographic characteristics, as well as the preferred method of MHC, and concerns regarding potential adverse effects. This survey was directed at young adult males; therefore, only male participants who were 18 to 35 years old were included for analysis. Results were reported as frequencies in each group and χ 2 analyses were performed to compare groups, with a P < 0.05 considered significant.

Results: Of 162 total survey participants, 45% would use MHC, whereas 30.9% were unsure and 23.5% would not use MHC. Overall, the University of Cincinnati survey population was more likely to be interested in using MHC than the Cincinnati Health Department population (P < 0.05). In both populations, most were interested in using the injectable form. Cited concerns deterring participants from using MHC were different between these two populations, with University of Cincinnati participants more frequently expressing concerns about possible failure of the contraceptive method, whereas Cincinnati Health Department participants had concerns about potential adverse effects (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: There is significant interest among young adult males in using various forms of MHC, especially in injectable form. Differences in views of MHC were seen in two distinct male populations. Specifically, males who achieved a higher level of education, were employed, or in a relationship were found to more frequently be willing to use MHC. With further research and funding, MHC may serve as a significant way to decrease unintended pregnancies in the future.


Although male hormonal contraception (MHC) has been under investigation since the 1970s, the female oral contraceptive pill and female sterilization have remained the most commonly used methods of contraception in the United States since 1982.[1,2] At this time, there is no Food and Drug Administration–approved MHC method, despite adequate evidence for safe and efficacious methods, including oral contraceptive pills, injectables, and transdermal gels for men.[3–5] A growing interest exists among men (25%–75%) and women (70%–80%) for using MHC as the sole method of contraception.[6–9]

A multicontinent qualitative study assessing males' perspectives on hormonal contraception with a survey of >9000 men aged 18 to 50 reported that >55% of men were willing to use MHC.[8] Although this study surveyed a large and diverse population, a major limitation was the lack of focus on young adult males' willingness to use these methods. In fact, when appraising the literature, there are no studies directed at young adult males that assess the willingness of males to use hormonal contraception. For this reason, we aimed to create a survey of young adult males (defined as 18–35 years old) with the hypothesis that we also will demonstrate a desire to use MHC.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether there is an interest among young adult males in using MHC. In addition to ascertaining the willingness to use MHC, we aimed to determine which method, among the pill, injection, or transdermal gel, is most desirable and determine factors that affect the willingness to use MHC.