Birth control created a giant step forward for women’s rights. It provided options beyond being a baby machine.
As an educated and responsible woman of the 21st century, I can say with certainty that I do not want children right now. No one else can make that decision for me, so I take birth control.
But it is clear from policy makers who oppose abortion and birth control rights that the female body is still not completely safe from regulation.
I ask a standard feminist question: If men were the ones who became pregnant, would any of these men in power put up blockages to contraception?
What would happen to the world, on a cultural and biological level, if men were the ones responsible for contraception?
With a developing, long-term male contraceptive in the works for release in 2017, men might very well be able to make that choice.
Vasalgel is a reversible, non-hormonal injection that works by inserting a polymer contraceptive directly into the vas deferens, male ducts that carry sperm. Blocking sperm does not require playing around with testosterone, and does not reduce the actual production of sperm.
By contrast, female contraceptives often rely on altering hormones to interfere with ovulation, which can cause serious side effects and reduce future fertility.
One of the most popular options for women is the pill, which must be taken daily and is not always covered by health insurance. According to womenshealth.gov, the pill can increase the risk of heart problems, blood clots, depression and infertility.
Vasalgel will not stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases but if both partners are STD free, it could be a very effective form of birth control.
Male contraception may not be right for everyone and it will take social conditioning to make it normative, but it is an option that should exist.
Some women are simply unable, for financial or physical reasons, to obtain long-term contraception. If there is a way for a man to have a one-time, side effect free, reversible procedure that could reduce unplanned pregnancies, why the hell not?
Verwys believes responsible sexual activity relies on all parties involved. Be safe, communicate and be informed. Male contraception won’t make you less of a man but it might keep the bun out of my oven.