Male birth control seems to be one of the most elusive topics out there. Every now and then I hear snippets about how there is a supposed “safe and effective” new option for men, but there are never concrete details. I have been in conversations about the benefits of birth control for men and it always comes down to a general lack of information about what is out there, rather than unwillingness to try them.
I won’t go into detail about why it is so problematic that birth control is a designated women’s issue or the all-around benefits of having prevention come from both sexes (*at least between opposite sex couples 😉 shout out to anti-heteronormativity). My intention is to 1) find out what is even available, and 2) why doesn’t this idea seem to be going anywhere.
Planned Parenthood has a pretty hilarious and disappointing list I have to include here:
Men have five birth control options:
Outercourse is a great alternative, thanks PP! ha
One article in particular really laid it out well. Basically the problem is that most of the proposed new methods either failed (hormones), sound questionable (testical heating and cooling), or are still in clinical trials (Vasalgel). I can see why these would not have been widely publicized, especially since this is a socially controversial topic. Good news is that Vasalgel has almost made it through intensive clinical trials and just may be the best invention ever.
Quick Vasalgel rave
– it has been created in India over the past 30 years and has been 100% effective without any pregnancies or adverse reactions. That’s more than almost any product can say. It’s a gel that is inserted into the vas deferens lasting up to 15 years, but can be removed by a doctor at any time – sounds much better than the pill to me!
The thing is there is bad news too. It may never make it to the market in the US because it is not backed by one of the major pharmaceutical companies [Source: http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/human-biology/male-bc-pill4.htm
].They have gradually stopped funding these projects because most procedures are a one-time profit unlike the ridiculously expensive, monthly supplied female birth control. Damn the pharmaceutical monopoly.
If you want this to be available in the US, take a minute to sign a petition
and/or spread the word. I came across a great organization
called that raises awareness (I think they could do better in that department), advocates for research and is a resource for those who want to do the same. The pharms need to be convinced that there is a demand for male birth control so that their profit-driven agenda can be a benefit to the rest of us.