Male contraceptives: it’s about time!

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he pill, the shot, the IUD. We women are given a range of options when it comes to methods of birth control. Men, on the other hand, have no comparable options. This is not fair.

Though it’s true that condoms can prevent semen from penetrating a woman’s insides, this is a mutual birth control method.

The mere fact that both the woman and the man involved are directly impacted by a layer of latex (or what have you) means that the control is not specific to the man. The IUD, the shot, and the pill, opn the other hand, affect women only, in the simple sense that they are inserted into a woman’s uterus, intravenously injected into a woman’s arm, and popped daily into a woman’s digestive system, respectively.

So, why is it that women have so many choices while men are limited to virtually none? It’s unfair.

Of course, there is always the point that men will produce about 525 billion sperm cells in their lifetime. Indeed, during a single ejaculation, about 40 million to 1.2 billion speedy swimmers are released from a healthy male. On the other hand, women have approximately two million egg follicles in their bodies when they are born. When they reach puberty, however, this number drastically declines to 450 mature eggs.

Why is it that women have so many choices while men are limited to virtually none?

In that sense, the idea of protecting 450 eggs as opposed to 500 billion sperm makes sense. But still, women are under the pressure of being the only ones to prevent carrying child. As making a child is a two-person job, it only makes sense that both parties involved should be equally involved in preventing this process. And with the whole idea of  equality between genders finally filling up public discourse, a male contraception is finally being produced.

Vasagel, a method developed by the Parsemus Foundation, is a safe injection that is directly shot up into the vas deferens. For those of you who have not taken an introductory human biology course, or for those of you like me who have, but just don’t get it, the vas deferens is the fun little tube that carries sperm and passes into the penis.

The injection will be filled with a gel that prevents sperm from entering where it would normally. Because it’s a project funded by a non-profit organization, when it does hit the market (which is projected to be within two years), it should be relatively cheap. And in case babies are yearned for later in one’s life, the process is also reversible. Unlike most birth control methods, however, the shot does not prevent from all sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

The future of equality is well underway, and if you ask me, male contraceptive measures like Vasalgel are a decent step into this future.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I always find it amusing how it has to be framed as being to the benefit of women rather than being to the benefit of men. This doesn’t change a damn thing for women, since they’ll still need to look after themselves with their own contraceptives (ánd condoms if not with regular partner) but it changes a lot for men in terms of control over ones own life. But hey… whatever get’s it made! 🙂

  2. Love the “equality perspective” of this article, its hilarious that this is completely framed around why its a good thing for women, how it affects women, how it compares to women and while claiming to be from an equality perspective it doesnt look into the aspects of unwanted fatherhood, the problems (and jail time) unwanted children can cause for men ect ect.
    just another woman who doesnt even realize her own reproductive privilege and is completely unaware of the plight of the opposite gender even though she has deemed herself fit to write about them…

  3. It always has to be written in a way that benfits women. That is how society is right now. Mostly this does give men more choices. It can benfit women in the sense that there will be less women getting pregnant who don’t want to be. The government won’t fund the research. Every guy should go to Vasagels website and donate something. Even five or ten dollars. Whatever you give will be less than a future child support payment.

  4. “Unlike most birth control methods, however, the shot does not prevent from all sexually transmitted diseases and infections.”

    Scratches head …

    You mean, the pill, wait, no…. IUD? No… um, female shot? … no, that isn’t right …. nuvaring? No…. ummm hmmm “most birth control methods” … oh. Condoms. Yes, that’s it. I guess that because there are so many, each condom counts as an individual method?