But all that could be a thing of the past as new research from the University of Wolverhampton have found a way to ‘switch off’ sperm.
For decades, scientists have been working on a way to temporarily alter male fertility and a new pill could be the answer as it has been shown to halt sperm’s ability to swim, rendering it useless.
This peptide-based treatment, which acts as a ‘Trojan horse’ invades cells and turns off sperm almost instantly.
Because of this, the pill could be taken right before sex (in a form such as nasal spray or pill) and the effects last up to a couple of days, rather than in conjunction with a monthly cycle like female pills.
Professor John Howl said: “The results are startling – and almost instant. When you take healthy sperm and add our compound, within a few minutes the sperm basically cannot move.”
If everything goes to plan, the male pill could be on the shelves by 2021.
Whether or not it will have a high take-up is still uncertain, with many citing women’s lack of confidence in male partners to take the pill.
Evidence supporting men’s interest in the pill is also sporadic, with a 2011 study by Anglia Ruskin University polling 54 men in a town in England, with 26 saying they would take the pill.