Women: the beasts of burden for birth control

The beautiful, carefree Vanessa Hudgens is captured meditating on her yoga mat on top of a mountain in the warmth of the glowing sunset beaming off her clear, soft skin. As she stretches into her yoga poses while joyfully looking out into the horizon, a narrative lists, “Nexplanon may cause mood swings, nervousness, depressed mood, acne, weight gain, headache, Vaginitis, breast pain, viral infections, stomach pain, painful periods, back pain, pain at insertion, nausea, dizziness, ovarian cysts, serious blood clots, breast cancer, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, gallbladder problems, cancerous or noncancerous liver tumors. The implant may not be placed in your arm at all due to failed insertion. If this happens, you may become pregnant. Removal of the implant may be very difficult or impossible if the implant is not where it should be. Ectopic pregnancy [occurring outside the womb] can occur while using Nexplanon. It can be life threatening and result in loss of pregnancy or fertility.” Wow, love that. I want to be just like Vanessa Hudgens and happily put that death chip inside my arm! Where do I sign up? Disclaimer: these are just a handful of the potential side effects- check out Nexplanon’s website for more horror stories including on how implants have been reported found in blood vessels cited in the lung, if you’re into that sort of thing. 


Why does society deem women as the beasts of burden for contraception? 

“Beyond medical reasons, the development of male birth control has been hampered by a lack of interest by the pharmaceutical industry and rules about which side effects are permissible in drugs.”

Mike Bebernes, Senior Editor yahoo news, “Why Is There No Male Birth Control?”

Yup, you read that right. It gets worse…

The 2016’s male contraceptive trial was halted after men reported “serious side effects, including mood swings, altered libido and acne- issues commonly associated with female birth control.” Doesn’t that just take your breath away? Oh no, it is not okay for men to ever have to experience any similar hormonal turmoil that women experience on the norm…according to the medical and pharmaceutical industry.

Additionally, these “serious” side effects were not actually all that serious. In a small trial of 40 participants, only five men reported a mildly diminished sex drive. Two reported mild erectile dysfunction. None of the participants chose to stop taking the drug because of these side effects.

Birth control pills shaped as the male symbol.

Clearly the medical field doesn’t hold water for any justifiable reasoning as to why there isn’t more male birth control available. There’s also cultural factors at play; including “the notion that women are responsible for contraception, and fear that birth control would make men less masculine are also frequently cited as inhibiting research, ” Bebernes writes.

Ahh, toxic masculinity at its finest ladies and gentlemen.

A drawing of a uterus with a "sorry we're closed" sign hanging from it.

Since derailing the legitimacy behind the reasoning as to why male birth control hasn’t been developed, it is time to move forward societally and take the weight of contraception off women’s backs. Why does it make more sense for us to shoot at a bulletproof vest instead of just unloading the gun?



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