As a heterosexual cisgender female, I have always felt that birth control was my responsibility. Due to that I take birth control. Even though condoms exist and should always be used, they aren’t invincible, so I have always felt the need to use multiple forms of contraception. I don’t enjoy taking birth control or what it does to my body, but since I don’t practice abstinence, I take it.
Why must we take all of the responsibility though? The correct answer is we shouldn’t. Sometimes guys don’t even want to carry, let alone use condoms, they just expect us to be prepared. I for one don’t think this is fair. Sex generally involves two people, so why is it only up to one of us to prevent the sometimes inevitable?
Well this is about to change.
In 2014, a non-profit Male Contraceptive Initiative was founded. This innovative organization is working to make the world a more equal playing field, at least on the sexual front. To date, MCI has granted over $5 million towards research that will change the game, and they are currently in the early development stage of three forms of male contraceptives: vas-occlusive devices, non-hormonal contraceptives, and hormonal contraceptives. The organization is privately funded, mainly receiving support through donations, so the process could take some time. It is predicted to be at least five years before any product is released, but that’s better than nothing in my opinion.
These efforts could do a couple things for everyone, not just us girls. First, it takes the responsibility off of just one person. The feeling that I was discussing earlier could dimmish over time if the male contraceptive catches on. Second, it allows men the comfort in knowing that they too can take initiative. I personally don’t know many guys that want to get a girl unexpectedly pregnant, and this could be an extra form of precaution. Third, this would change the game for government policies. Some countries don’t allow women access to birth control, but I don’t see many preventing men from obtaining it. Due to this, it would be less reasonable for women to be denied access.
Along with the improvement of science, there might be other barriers to normalizing the concept of male birth control. The other barrier I am referring to is men themselves. One could be skeptical to even think men would catch on to the idea; some don’t even want to use condoms, but I don’t think that is the real point in developing this product. People deserve to have the option. While this new form contraception might not be appealing to the entire male species, some might give it a shot. Even if one person started using it, he could tell his friends who could in turn tell their friends. Slowly, word of mouth along with the right publicity could lead to success and hopefully a positive outlook on the situation.
A while ago, the concept of a temporary form of male contraceptive would have seemed mind-boggling to some, but I personally cannot wait for the day to come when I can ask a guy if he is on birth control.
I am hopeful that male contraceptives will slowly become normal among the population once they hit the market, and I look forward to following MCI’s research.
As a sort of last remarks, I will leave you with the following question: If you were (or are) a guy, would you use a male contraceptive if given the option?