birth control doctor man 750

Male Contraception: It’s Cumming

One of the greatest scientific accomplishments of all time is contraception. The ability to engage in sexual intercourse while dictating whether a child is conceived is truly a privilege that we should not take for granted.

Men and women both enjoy the options afforded by contraception. However, it is without question that men are seriously lacking when compared with women, for one reason or another. Before we explore why men’s contraception is needed as much as women’s, as well as current options and new research in that area, let’s briefly examine the history behind birth control.

While the history is certainly a long one, the key dates are the following. In 3000 B.C.E., the first condom was invented in Egypt. Around 1500 B.C.E., the first spermicides were introduced, which used condoms made from linen cloth sheaths and soaked in a chemical solution and dried before using. In 1916, Margaret Sanger, a true heroine of the contraception movement, opened the first public birth control clinic in the United States. Even though she was jailed for 30 days for “maintaining a public nuisance,” she kept her clinic and pushed forward. In 1950, when Sanger was in her 80s, she underwrote the necessary research to create the first human birth control. Ten years later, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would approve Enovoid, the first oral contraceptive. In 1968, the U.S. Supreme Court approved intrauterine devices, better known as IUDs. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized birth control for all its citizens, regardless of their marital status.

The 1990s and 2000s were tremendous decades for birth control as new methods were introduced. The first of these was Norplant, the first contraceptive implant; DepoProvera, which is an injectable method; FC1/Reality, which is a female condom; and Plan B, which is an emergency contraceptive product. Fast-forward to the millennium era and we have Mirena, which is a new levonorgestrel-releasing IUD put out in 2000; a hormonal patch called Ortho Evra in 2001; the vaginal ring called Nuvaring in 2001; Essure, which is a method of transcervical female sterilization, developed in 2002; Implanon in 2006, which is a single-rod implant; and finally FC2 in 2009, which is an improved female condom. Needless to say, abortion is also an important addition to the list.

The one glaring issue about all of this is that the methods listed above, with the exception of the condom, are exclusively female-only options. Women have been given priority in the continued research for more and better birth control options. Now, this is not a bad thing in and of itself. Being spoiled for choice when it comes to the ways you control unhappy accidents is a good thing, of course. At this time, women, according to Planned Parenthood, have 22 options for birth control. Again, this is a good thing.

But when it comes to men, we are seriously falling behind. Again, according to Planned Parenthood, men have a measly five options. They are abstinence, condoms, outercourse, vasectomy, and withdrawal. Of these five, only condoms are the truly viable option. Abstinence simply doesn’t work, unless you’re the most devout monk in all of Tibet. Outercourse is exactly what it sounds like. You might as well be not touching each other. Vasectomies are invasive forms of surgery and unfortunately are not always fully reversible.  Withdrawal is about as effective as abstinence. Finally, we come to condoms (no pun intended), which are the most widely used male contraception and, realistically, the only option men have. Condoms have a failure rate of 18%, which isn’t super high by any means, but it’s definitely cause for concern, given what can happen if it does fail.

Why are men being denied their full reproductive rights? Men’s rights are human rights. We are human beings, we can make mistakes, and the risks for us are just as great as they are for women. Now before someone screams that I’m being unfair, I will concede that the risks for men when it comes to pregnancy are of course not physical in nature, since men cannot become pregnant. Rather, the risks for men are financial. A man is not afforded the same option to opt out of parenthood like a woman can through abortion. If she wants to give up having the child, that decision ultimately lies with her. But if she wants to keep it, the man must stick around to pay child support even if he doesn’t want to. It’s a matter of parental rights in this case. There are also the egregious cases where a man has to pay child support, even if he isn’t the biological father. Women, by law in the United States at least, can hold a man at metaphorical gunpoint and force him to pay up when he wasn’t even involved with the child in the first place. There are also women that are simply not comfortable with the idea of more male contraception because they feel as though they’re losing something to men. Men’s rights are human rights. No civilized society would hold women up to these ridiculous ideas because they are just that: ridiculous.

At this time, there is more research happening in the domain of male contraceptives. The most promising of these is RISUG, which stands for Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance, currently being developed in India. It is a gel injection that kills the sperm and sterilizes a man for 10 to 15 years and is completely reversible with a follow-up injection that dissolves the gel. The other option of note is Vasalgel, which is being developed in the United States. From what I understand, it works essentially the same as RISUG, whereby a polymer gel is injected into the vas deferens. The idea with both of these is that they will, one hopes, be more readily reversible than a vasectomy. Like RISUG, the polymer injected by Vasalgel could be removed with another injection. The Male Contraception Information Project is a wonderful resource in this regard and contains information on other promising projects. I would highly recommend you give it a look and become involved via the options presented on the site. At the very least, stay informed by signing up for their newsletter. I know I will.

Men are human beings and, consequently, deserve the same kind of reproductive control women do. This is not an exercise in entitlement because there is a responsibility associated with these rights. These rights are human rights. And who knew? Men’s rights are human rights.

 

Further reference for important milestones in contraception history:

http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book/companion.asp?id=18&compID=53

 

Editorial note: this item originally published on Men’s Human Rights Ontario. –DE

About Sam Allouba

I'm just a nerdy guy who lives in suburbia and fearlessly expresses his views about life. Oh, and offending people is a favourite pastime of mine.

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  • mike gibbs

    If it wasn’t for ALL THAT MONEY available to be ‘legally’ stolen from men (once a child is introduced) in SOOO many different ways, the male pill would have been here at the same time as the females.

    Really, it is appauling that we men ever and continue to put up with this.
    Why?

    • Bewildered

      If this question had been asked at the right time the present mess could have been averted.

  • Lastango

    Our bodies — our choice!

    The withering away of women’s ability to trick men into becoming fathers will rock the West’s consequence-free, feministed social structure to the core. Deprived of a primary weapon for snaring men emotionally and financially, huge numbers of women who have been piquing themselves on their prerogatives and independence will be just that: independent. The end of women being able to unilaterally decide to become pregnant means the end of being able to have their sociopolitical cake and eat it.

    Bring the future on!

    • ManWithPlan

      I disagree. The male pill will make women more likely to conceive with idiots. Conscientious and cautious men will be choosing if, and when, they want to risk impregnating someone. Heedless men shouting “YOLO” will more often be the baby daddies of the future

      • MisterAbsurd

        If that becomes the case, the financial incentives of the system at least will be largely mitigated. One idiot’s earning power divided up among half a dozen baby mommas is hardly lucrative.

        • ManWithPlan

          The government will step in and save her.

          • James Huff

            With whose money? All those low earning MGOTW who have figured out how to avoid complications and live cheaply? Or perhaps those middle class entrepreneurs that are being squeezed out of competitive markets by over-regulation and increased taxes? Or what about that top 10% of earners already making up 70%+ of Federal Taxes? And in one generation what will happen? Now we’ve successfully bred a bunch of fucking idiots…..is that where our next generation of taxable labor will come from?

            No….Male Reproductive Control is in fact the Holy Grail of the MRM, and a surefire way to to demand women come to the table as equals if they want to reproduce…..or we will take the whole damned house of cards down with us.

      • MGTOW 4Ever

        Bird of a feather flock together. If women Conceive with an idiot doesn’t that make them idiots them selves?

        • ManWithPlan

          Yes, but women can rely on the government to empower their idiocy.

          • joebspi

            I have to say that I agree with ManWithPlan. The women will get their money one way or another. What they cannot get from the stupid and poor Baby Daddy, they will get from the Stupid government. And then WE will all pay for the stupidity of our brethren and sistren

      • Tom Trucker

        We are in a slow crawl back to the caves.

      • Vương Vi-Nhuyễn – 王微軟

        Yes, but ”men shouting ”Y{.}O{.}L{.}O{.}””’s kids will probably be aborted, as one of those men myself, and reading statistics, general teen pregnancies have been on a strong decline (reaching its height during the 1950’s), and unwanted children (as the criminality that’s accompanied by it) are strictly declining, though more male options will only encourage this trend, so it will be positive in many ways. :-)

  • ExpatMatt

    When–and if–Vasalgel and similar options become widely available, it will be most interesting and instructive to see how feminists respond…and whether or not they’re able to shape public discourse in this issue once it really gets going. This is an important issue to all sexually active men, so it may well be the first time MRAs and male feminists end up on the same side of something.

    • Daniel Freeman

      Because of Patriarchy Theory, feminists equate male autonomy with female oppression. They won’t be able to tolerate the existence of something like Vasalgel, but there aren’t any rational arguments against it, so they’re just going to look looney. And all the men who thought that feminism was about equality will get a wake-up call as loud as a fire alarm.

      I’ve given around one or two hundred dollars toward the development of Vasalgel, just because I can, and I think it will be more of a game-changer than most people realize. Once it’s on the market, if every prominent feminist gets asked about it in every Q&A session, they will soon start looking like they’re walking around in clown suits. Their only choice will be whether to make fools of themselves, or disavow their faith.

  • Dan Slezak

    This is about control over a mans future. Women today, are the most privileged class of people in the history of the planet. Feminists know this, and if they really are for equality then they are going too have too start sharing some of it. Sooner or later there will come a time when young men wont have too drop out of school, training, go too jail or quit a job too hide assets, too pay for a women’s reproductive choice. For the feminists, that means more competition in the job market, less men in jail (look what it would do for the black community), a smaller department of DCF as claims go down, funding does too. By the way, I don’t think I have too mention who fills those easy jobs, but I will anyway. That gentlemen, is the reason why feminists are against any type of male birth control than what limited choices we already have.

  • Robert Franklin

    My guess is that RISUG, were it available in the U.S. would not be much used. It’s somewhat expensive and requires minor surgery both to inject and to reverse. It also takes a trained practitioner to do correctly. I’d be surprised if many men, particularly young men and those less affluent actually used it. We need a pill or an easy, inexpensive injection.

    • demonspawn0809

      RISUG and vasagel are one in the same just patented under different names. The ingredients used in the shot, as it is a simple needle, cost less than the syringe they are administered in. Which means that drug companies will be trying to hamper it’s release as they will be losing money, one shot every ten years or 1 pill (for women) everyday?

      • Pvblivs

        If the women don’t trust the men, the drug companies can have both payments.

        • Lee Church

          thats why I find the, “I dont trust him to take it” argument to be completely ridiculous.

          erm, excuse me lady… i thought you had some contraceptives to take too? 22 different options if I remember correctly. He won’t be taking contraceptives so YOU don’t have to. He will be taking them for HIMSELF.

          • Daniel Freeman

            Exactly. The argument that “men don’t need birth control because they can’t be trusted to use it anyway” is a sure-fire telltale sign that the speaker is a gynocentrist who can’t see things from a man’s point of view — even if he technically is one.

          • Turbo

            “I dont trust him to take it”

            Yep, it makes about as much sense as most feminist arguments, Absolutely none.

            Women will not have to trust a man to take it, unlike men, who have had to trust their partners to take it since the contraceptive pill was invented.

          • Bryan Scandrett

            Why wouldn’t you be able to trust the man? Who the fuck wants to have kids with a mother who doesn’t want to have them with you. It’s not as if you can just scream rape and dispose of her if she ‘s a pain, can you?
            In reality, it’s women after his money that can’t be trusted.

            And what man wouldn’t be on it?

    • Aimee McGee

      Disagree. Much of the resistance to vasectomy can be culturally attributed and I expect similar for vasagel. The expense after approval will be relatively low, as it falls into the medical device rather than pharmaceutical category.
      Male pill if developed will be eyewateringly costly to cover clinical trial and development costs

  • MisterAbsurd

    If both men and women have effective and inexpensive birth control available to them and society accepts their use, then every child born will, by definition, be wanted by both parents. This will be the most amazing social development of the millennium!

    • Mark Wharton

      Yes but women cannot afford it, hold on is it free now?

    • Bewildered

      hehehehehe! you are not being true to your name here !

  • ericniegel

    Really?

    You really had to do that pun?

    • Daniel Freeman

      You mean the title wasn’t the climax of the article for you?

  • politicalcynic

    Men deserve the same rights women have to decide if and when they wish to become a parent.

    Consent to sex should not be presumed to be consent to parenthood simply because one is male.

  • YeahNope

    I could have sworn I read that the FDA had already thrown out some roadblocks concerning Vasalgel, but I can’t remember where I read it. Something about the chemicals or reversal process.

    • Phil McCracken

      If I were 18 again and could take a pill without the snip snip, but have the same results. And not knowing what I do now, I’d take it. Pregnancy scares for boys or young men are a feeling of near total helplessness that few women can begin to or even care to understand. Many times they even enjoy their power. Another persons decision now controls your future life.

  • Phil McCracken

    This is where the rubbers meet the road, Mra issue. If men had a simple pill tomorrow everything changes fast.

  • Junky

    So what are the implications of parents getting this done to their teen boys?”in the best interests of the child”
    since they still let parents genitally mutilate them they cant really say much about something that would help/save them from mistakes/accidents/oops on purpose…

    • Aimee McGee

      There is (Gillick) competency that covers this issue.
      If a child of a certain age can demonstrate they are capable of consent to a medical or surgical procedure and understand its implications, then they can consent without parental involvement. The rule of thumb for Gillick is around the age of 13, but there is case law refusal of treatment by a terminally ill 10 year old that gives precedence. If we have any people with medicolegal experience in the US, they will know what case law is equivalent in your federal system as Gillick only applies to countries with law based on the Westminster system.

      • Daniel Freeman

        I don’t know medical law at all, and I’m not even a lawyer, but I’m sure there has to be some sort of correspondence with family law (which I know an eensy-weensy bit about). The crazy-making thing in the U.S. is that our Federal system means that there are at least 52 different rules: one for each state, plus the national capital of the District of Columbia, and then the Federal rules for interstate/international.

        I happen to know that in one state, 10 is old enough to watch yourself; and technically somewhere around 12 (but realistically 14) is old enough to watch kids younger than that. What’s more, the few statutory limits are actually enforced based on maturity equivalents.

        Even where the law seems clear, you could get in trouble for leaving a ten year-old alone, if he or she has the maturity of a typical eight year-old; and conversely, you would probably not be prosecuted for leaving an unusually mature eight year-old alone, if they didn’t actually hurt themselves or others, and all your neighbors praised them to the stars.

        So, if I’m going by what little I know, I would expect basically the same as what you said: roughly 13(+/-1) for the usual assumption of personal competence, with dips as low as 10 depending on individual maturity.

        • Junky

          13-14 works just fine, just in time to save some kids from child support for an accident or immaturity or oops and then could have it re done at 23-24 if they choose not to have kids

          feminists might hate this but im betting mothers of boys will love it.

  • John Durant

    What men need is a pill like women have as the aforementioned procedures are still at little too long lasting in nature. But I think such a pill will never be developed as women will never allow it. They want to make sure that men NEVER have any choice in reproduction. They know that if men had the same choice women have, the gravy train will be over. No longer will a pinhole in a condom sentence a man to a lifetime of servitude.

    • Aimee McGee

      You don’t want a pill – trust me on this.
      I’ve had hormonal contraception from my late teens until my late 30s. My current partner has the snip, so I’ve been hormone free since then and it is only since being hormone free I’ve realised how much effect hormones had on my mood and libedo (in a bad way).
      Internal barriers to spermatazoa is sensible and the reversal would take a month from deciding to reverse – about the same time as it takes to get the hormones out of your system.

  • Bryan Scandrett

    “Withdrawal is about as effective as abstinence”
    What does this mean? You seem to be suggesting a) withdrawal is not effective at all, and b) neither is abstinence.
    I’m guessing you mean unsatisfactory sexually rather than as a form of contraception? Yeah?
    I would imagine abstinence would be the most effective contraception ever. Should some one get pregnant, it’s not abstinence.
    As for withdrawal, I used that with total effect for over a decade, 1984 to the mid 90’s and then went on to father 3 children by choice with the same woman. Zero hassles. Also used effectively between children and after until I had the snip in my 40’s.
    Always felt the criticisms of withdrawal were based on a lack of faith in mens ability to be trusted. Little more than misandry to me. Any imagined flaw is not in the system of contraception but with the self respect of the decision maker when it comes to the choices we make.
    As for pre-cum carrying sperm, never seen the science to support it. Mine doesn’t seem to.
    Which brings me to the fresh realisation; this crusty old dude has been entirely in charge of his reproductive rights for 30 years. :) Hoo wah.

    • Rob Hudson

      During the times when I have been abstinent, I have had 0 children.

      While I admit that is anecdotal, I suspect that very few pregnancies happen when you don’t have a sex partner.

      Interestingly, last year, the British Medical Journal reported that “1 in 200 pregnant women claim they’ve never had sex”.

      • Bryan Scandrett

        They do say some weird shit.

    • John Narayan

      I think the withdraw method is promoted by disingenuous religious nuts….

      • Bryan Scandrett

        Talking about disingenuous, I thought you said ‘bye-bye”.
        I’m not religious, and I’m not promoting it. Simply amused by decades of “I think” merchants promoting their opinions without a scrap of anything resembling science, data or logic.

        If you have something other than your ego to backup your position, I’m all ears. Given we’re waiting now for your fourth spray with zero data, I guess not.
        Nut.

  • J.G. te Molder

    Somehow I highly doubt 18% of condoms actually failed. They “failed” already, but I rather imagine most of it is by design.

    Then again; maybe whoever created that website missed a dot, because I thought the failure rate of condoms I read elsewhere is 1.8%.

    • Pvblivs

      From what I remember reading, failure rate with perfect use is about 1%. Failure rate with typical use is about 18%. Incidentally, I also remember reading that withdrawal has a 2% failure rate with perfect use and 25% with typical use. Typical use includes the fact that people forget or they put the condom on sloppily and it slips or something.

      • John Narayan

        I think the withdraw method is promoted by disingenuous religious nuts.

        • Rob Hudson

          “disingenuous religious nut” also describes what she has to clean up afterward

          • John Narayan

            So wrong, ha!

  • fidelbogen

    The feminists will not be happy at the introduction of Vasalgel or other male contraceptive options. These things will “empower” men, and that is not what feminism wants for men. Not at all.

  • Vương Vi-Nhuyễn – 王微軟

    Personally I’m all for more male contraceptives, and one thing I’m against is that when a male birth control pill would be invented is that it would help spread more S.T.D.’s… that aside…. an 18% failure rate :-O aiya, I’ve been with many women who’ve been with many men, I’m glad that I’m a blood-donor, but I only get tested every 3 months, which is effective over a period of 6 months… O.M.G. O.M.G. O.M.G. well, it’s better to be exposed to the truth then to live (a dangerous) lie, reckon that I won’t sleep around… ever again, that 18% fail rate against S.T.D.’s (including H.I.V./A.I.D.S.) is really scary. (>_<)

    • Bryan Scandrett

      Not following how a male contraceptive will increase STD’s.
      If you’re not cautious enough to protect yourself with a condom against child support payments and STD’s, then you’re probably just not a cautious person and will risk disease who ever is in control of the contraception.
      Men have always been forced to trust their women about disease and contraception, even in long term relationships. And we’ve been let down plenty with women passing off other mens children to an unsuspecting partners since sex began.

      Once control of contraception is passed to the men, a smorgasbord of diseased women don’t appear and begin expressing enthusiastic consent. And even if they did, a cautious man would wear a condom like he always has. Every hooker knows this.

  • RSDavies

    While it’s slightly off-subject, just before last Christmas I suggested to a self-professed feminist that men should have the right & opportunity to access to legal pharmaceutical means to contain not only their fertility but also & perhaps more importantly to the debate their libidos. The rationale being if men’s sex drive gets them into trouble, why not provide them with the means to control this – would all those women benefit & might not men in relationships with women who don’t want sex be happier? It seemed reasonable to me. Choice for men and less burden for women.
    What I was not prepared for was the response. This woman was aghast at the idea of men wanting to “chemically castrate” (her words) themselves or shut down their fertility. As far as she was concerned it was an absolute no-no! It was clear in her mind that men had to be available as sexual beings and fertile beings at the command of women.
    If men could obtain the means to control their fertility it would have far reaching consequences as for the first time women would need to negotiate with men to positively become fathers. It would also give grounds for men to challenge in UK (it may be different elsewhere) their automatic responsibility for any child born to a woman they are married to regardless of the biological paternity. Clearly the man who had chosen long term contraception couldn’t have fathered the child and had positively chosen not to father children – could then the courts reasonably assert that the man had a responsibility for any children born in the marriage? Hmmm

    • Daniel Freeman

      What I was not prepared for was the response. This woman was aghast at the idea of men wanting to “chemically castrate” (her words) themselves or shut down their fertility. As far as she was concerned it was an absolute no-no! It was clear in her mind that men had to be available as sexual beings and fertile beings at the command of women.

      If her reaction surprised you, then I think you need to watch more ManWomanMyth (who has been reincarnated as HumanityBites). Our culture’s default mode and modus for men — the style and procedure assigned to us — is that of a utilitarian appliance operating for the benefit of women, and one that can’t be used is useless.

  • Bryan Scandrett

    I used it with 100% success for about 20 yrs til I finally got the snip. Everyone pretends it is totally unreliable which I’m pretty sure translates into “thinks men are totally unreliable.”

    • John Narayan

      A sample of one, big sample.

      • Bryan Scandrett

        Given the amount of sex a couple has over 20 yrs, that was a fucking lot of samples, pun intended.
        What’s the basis for your skepticism? All I ever hear is skepticism about withdrawal but no science. And I’ve been listening for a long time now.
        Do you work for a drug company?

        • John Narayan

          Still sample of one. If you think said sample of one can be extrapolated across every other couple in the world, well I can’t help you.

          Bye! (waves)

          • Bryan Scandrett

            False premise

  • Daniel Kulkarni

    Until men have better forms of birth control available in the US, I’ll stick to celibacy. The last thing I need is child support payments draining my bank account.