Gadget Lab Podcast: The Case for Male Birth Control


Hormonal male contraception is not a new idea—in fact, researchers have been working on solutions for men since the pill was invented for women. But early tests around male contraceptives were inconclusive, and as birth control pills exploded, there wasn’t as much interest in a male version.

A new male contraceptive gel, one that reduces sperm count, could change that. It’s been in the works for more than a decade, WIRED’s Arielle Pardes reports this week, and it looks promising. Even if the gel eventually make its way to pharmacies, though, there may still be societal hurdles to overcome. And survey results are mixed, Arielle tells us on this week’s Gadget Lab podcast: Some men indicate they would be reluctant to use birth control, while others are for it.

Also on this week’s pod, Mike, Lauren, and Arielle discuss all of the news announced at Apple’s services-focused event on Monday. You could say it was an unusual presentation, as far as Apple events go. But on the upside: Oprah was there.

Show notes:
You can read Arielle Pardes’s story about the clinical trials of the latest male contraceptive gel, called NES/T, here. Here’s everything that was announced during Monday’s Apple event. Lauren Goode and Peter Rubin also wrote a story about the real choice you make when you’re using Apple’s services.

Arielle recommends the Day One journaling app. Lauren recommends Square’s Cash app for peer-to-peer payments. Mike recommends season 2 of the Broken Record podcast, particularly the episode with Questlove.

Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight.

Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.

How to Listen:
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