Your Source for Feminist Discourse

Male Birth Control: Let’s Start the Discussion

Did you know there are options for male contraception other than condoms? Let’s talk about it.

One of the most up-and-coming options for male contraception is something called Vasalgel – a non-hormonal, reversible form of birth control that blocks the vans deferens, aka blocks sperm from being released. Non-hormonal means it won’t mess with testosterone levels in the male body, and reversible means this is a temporary option for those who aren’t ready to have a family just yet. Currently, there are many other options out there for male birth control, including non-hormonal pills, heat methods, and ultrasounds, which also provide temporary sperm-blocking options for men.

In my opinion, different forms of male birth control are GREAT for our society. We live in a culture that puts the responsibility and societal pressures of not getting pregnant solely on women, even though men are equally responsible for creating a pregnancy. According to the Center for Disease Control, almost half of all pregnancies in the US are unintended, and 80% of all teen pregnancies are accidental.

Why is it important for men to consider taking birth control when so many women already take it?

Male-BFemale birth control is widely used – from hormonal pills, IUD’s, and patches – but any birth control that needs to change the ovulation and fertilization processes of the female body comes with many dangerous side effects. These side effects include increasing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, irregular bleeding, depression, damage to the uterus itself, and many more health concerns. The leading options for male birth control are non-hormonal, meaning there would be little to no dangerous side effects on the male body. With that alone, don’t you think male birth control is a good idea?

Currently, pharmaceutical companies are making millions of dollars off of female birth control. It’s not profitable for companies to produce one effective form of male birth control, while they could be selling pills that need to be taken daily for women. As Samantha Allen puts it, “why sell a flat-screen television to a man, when you can rent one to a woman for a decade?”

The unfortunate truth is that money and politics often get in the way of reproductive rights, at least here in America. As we saw this past summer with the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held corporations could deny birth control coverage to their female employees, in accordance with the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This decision was made from the fact that Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. is a Christian-based company, and believes IUD’s and morning after pills to be “an early form of abortion.” The Supreme Court decided that “closely-held” corporations did not have to provide coverage for needs covered by the Affordable Healthcare Act, if those needs conflicted with the company’s religious beliefs.

My question is, what would happen if birth control shifted into the hands of men?

Would male birth control be a topic of political discussion? Would politicians, left and right, be fighting for men’s rights to choose or not choose if they wanted to have a baby? Would legislation be passed to control men’s bodies?

I urge you to talk about this topic with your male friends, boyfriends, and significant others, to just get the discussion rolling. Would your male friends take temporary birth control, with all the benefits I listed above? I would love to hear what your friends say, so feel free to comment below!

P.S. Vasalgel is starting human trials in 2015, and with the success of those trials, could hit the US market by 2017. THE FUTURE IS NOW!

3 Responses to “Male Birth Control: Let’s Start the Discussion”

  1. msdionnedavenport

    I love the point you make about the economics of womens’ birth control. Pharmaceutical companies stand to lose a lot of money if male birth control becomes widely used by the public- it is upsetting that things that affect our health are governed by money and politics.

    So many women have trouble finding the right birth control for them because of the high levels of hormones in female birth control. The wrong balance of hormones can manifest itself in ways like: depression, volatile mood swings, headaches, and nausea. Hopefully male birth control does become available to the public soon, because although some women don’t suffer adverse side effects from their hormonal birth control, some certainly do. The more options people have to choose from, the more likely it is that all women will find a solution that works for them!

    Reply
  2. SpongebobBloggerpants

    I actually took your advice and asked my band mates (all male) their thoughts about male birth control. They had no idea it even existed. Mind you, neither did I until I read this post…(which is why this is SO great! Consciousness-raising, yah!)

    Initially, all 4 of them laughed at the concept and completely disregarded the idea. But, when I mentioned the health benefits for women, the non-hormonal effect on the male body and economic standpoint, they all warmed up to the idea significantly. We had a really cool conversation about it.

    I think the questions you posed: Would male birth control be a topic of political discussion? Would politicians, left and right, be fighting for men’s rights to choose or not choose if they wanted to have a baby? Would legislation be passed to control men’s bodies? are incredibly insightful.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
  3. ChelleBelle

    This is such an interesting post! I think it’s great that you’ve explained male birth control because to be honest, I don’t think most people know that it even exists. I know I didn’t! Maybe that goes along with the economic factors you mentioned. If more people knew about the benefits of male birth control, maybe it would put pressure on pharmaceutical companies to market these products. Like you said, they obviously aren’t going to go this route on their own because they can make so much more money off of women’s birth control. I definitely think that your suggestion about bringing this topic up with the men in our lives is the first step to get the ball rolling! Thank you for sharing this!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: