We as women have been dreaming of such a thing for years — male birth control in the form of a pill. This would put the onus of reproduction control on the dude in the relationship, instead of the woman bearing the burden of having to figure out what form of birth control to use, and subsequently dealing with side effects, if there are any.
Male birth control is a bigger challenge to research scientists than female — after all, instead of dealing with one reproductive cell (the egg), they have to deal with millions of them (sperm). And of course, just one single sperm can get you pregnant, so you don’t want to let any amount slip through.
Despite these odds, work is still being done to figure out a solution. Researchers have deemed hormonal birth control for men to have undesirable side effects, so the focus has been on a couple of receptors that control ejaculation. Mice studies have determined that the possibilities are there, but more time and years of testing will have to take place before something like this comes on the market.
I’m personally not too excited about this, but am feeling a little conflicted. I’m not a fan of hormonal birth control for women, and in fact I find the statement that hormonal side effects for men are “too excessive” to be laughable without knowing for sure what they are — after all, women deal with loads of side effects and potential damage and even death when they use certain birth control options. Why is that okay for women and not men?
Furthermore, I’m also not a fan of medication. I only take it when really needed and only as a last resort. I know that much of it is necessary and life-saving, but who are the men who will be using this in the future? Will it wind up being a decades-long medical experiment, with side effects that are potentially life-changing?
However, I do overall like the swing towards helping men to carry some of the responsibility for reproductive health. Women really do bear the brunt of most, if not all, of it, even though men are truly 50 percent responsible for the outcome, and as mentioned above, much of the options women have are invasive and/or they carry risks.
What do you think about a male birth control pill?