Male Birth Control Pill: Here’s What You Need to Know
Last month, news broke that a male birth control pill passed initial safety tests. Now, before you all call up your boyfriends to go see their doctors ASAP, there’s still a long way to go before this pill hits the market. The trial only involved 40 men, which is way too small to be conclusive, and it was only testing for safety and not so much effectiveness. According to Science Alert, the trial result “looks like it might deliver a safe oral drug while hypothetically stopping sperm production.” That doesn’t sound too certain! So clearly, lots more research must be done before men could start taking oral contraceptives. But would men even want that responsibility? What are the potential implications of male birth control?
Male birth control pills are certainly a scientific breakthrough and I’m sure tons of men would be interested in preventing an unplanned pregnancy. But I personally feel as though there’s a major discrepancy between men and women when it comes to pregnancy and preventative methods. Where women would physically be carrying the child and would have to go through with childbirth or abortion, it’s easy for a man to walk away and act as if it never happened. I’m not saying all, or even most, men are terrible and would do such a thing, it’s just a fact that the woman has more responsibility when it comes to pregnancy. Thus women might be more inclined than men to take a birth control pill or use other types of contraceptives.
According to the CDC, almost 65% of women in the US are using birth control. With two-thirds of women already using contraception, do men really feel the need to take birth control pills? I would like to argue yes, because better safe than sorry, but in reality, laziness is a very real thing. Making an appointment with your doctor to discuss contraception and find out with birth control pills are right for you can be a burden, not to mention the side affects associated with hormonal birth control. Would somebody really want to pursue that if they knew their partner already had it taken care of?
This is all very speculative and I’m sure many men will jump at the chance to try birth control pills, whether they want an extra fail safe or want to give their S.O. a break and take on that responsibility for themselves. The news just brought up some questions in my mind about what male birth control really means and how this news can open up a conversation about gender and ways in which men and women view the world differently. I hope as more breakthroughs are made by this drug and other forms of male birth control, we can continue to discuss these potential issues and implications and understand how male birth control may change the landscape of contraception.
Cover image via Bustle