A contraceptive pill for men appears to be edging ever closer, but a survey has revealed that the vast majority of women have so little faith in their partners remembering to take the drug that they would continue using their own contraception.
A viable pill that men could take once a day, week, or even month is in development -- but while men trust themselves to take it, their wives and girlfriends are far from convinced.
When a University of Kansas team interviewed almost 300 people in long-term relationships, 92pc expressed interest in a male pill.
But while four in five men (81pc) believed they could be trusted to take it reliably, only two in three women (66pc) had the same confidence in them.
Three-quarters of women said that they would continue using their existing form of contraception even if their partner was taking a male pill.
Dr Ajay Nangia, a Kansas urologist, said this lack of trust was to be expected.
He said: "That's the natural trend. After all, who's going to end up carrying the baby?"
However, Dr Allan Pacey, chairman of the British Fertility Society, thought this lack of faith might well evaporate when the pill finally arrived. He said: "Maybe when the pill becomes available we'll suddenly relax about it."
The survey also found that women thought men would be more likely to take a daily pill without forgetting, than a weekly or monthly one.
Dr Pacey said: "I suspect that's because women think if it's a daily thing they can keep their eye on them, by counting the tablets and not having to nag them."
He commented: "As a man I can tell you it's also quite frightening when your partner jumps out of bed and says, 'I forgot to take the pill'.
"It cuts both ways." (©Daily Telegraph, London)