Take the damn birth control already, men!
I know. This is huge. When I read the headline I danced a brief jig around my living room.
It upset the dog, but in the end I think we can all agree that an inspired jig is always worth any canine upset it might cause.
My jig came to abrupt halt when I learned that the study had to be ended early when the men participating experienced uncomfortable side effects. The same side effects women have been living with for decades on The Pill.
While the study of 320 men between the ages of 18 and 45 found that male hormonal birth control was 96% effective (that's nearly as high as female birth control at 99%, by the way), that wasn't enough motivation to keep 20 participants from dropping like (weak little baby) flies.
The study says, "Of these 20, 6 men discontinued only for changes in mood and 6 men discontinued for the following single reasons: acne, pain or panic at first injections, palpitations, hypertension, and erectile dysfunction."
Why did the remaining 8 drop out?
Mood changes? I'll give them mood changes. Let me introduce you to a little something I like to call MENSTRUATION.
Is anyone surprised that dudes don't have the figurative ovaries to tough it out in order to be responsible sexually active adults?
If you're a woman and you've taken hormonal birth control you know it can be the pits.
The side effects are notorious. There's weight gain and depression if you're lucky. There's weight gain, depression, low libido, acne, and nausea if you are slightly less lucky.
Most women who are on hormonal birth control have to try a few different kinds of treatments before landing on the one that gives them the least amount of side effects.
But we stick with it. We do it. Why? Because we live in a society where it is our responsibility to prevent pregnancy.
Given that, in general, our rights over our own bodies are so highly policed, we take birth control with no qualms. Not just because it helps us decide when and if we want to make a family, but because we have fought long and hard for the right to do so.
When the female birth control pill was originally going through trials, the women who participated in the study were not even TOLD about the potential for side effects. When those participants felt sick and dropped out, you know who they used as their drug guinea pigs? Incarcerated women.
If that's not dark enough for you, let's acknowledge the fact that the first report on birth control for women causing depression came out this year! In 2016! Despite it always having been a problem women reported to their doctors.
Tell me this isn't a double standard. I dare you.
Researchers view this male trial as a success. Even though it ended early. Why? Because the drug worked. I don't think anyone out there ever doubted the fact that if science can figure out a way to control a woman's hormones to prevent conception, it could easily do so for a man's hormones.
With male birth control, the issue is never going to be the efficacy of the drug.
The issue is going to be convincing one half of the planet that it's okay to suffer mild discomfort in order to take responsibility for preventing contraception.
Sadly, I think the answer is no, we're not.