Male-Contraceptive Method is Almost Here

Hazzah! Have you heard about the male-contraceptive method yet? It’s already available in India and has proven to be quite awesome if i do say so myself. (See numbered reasons below.) Testing in the United States will soon start. The male contraceptive method is called RISUG (Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance).

Here’s how it works: It is a one-time, completely reversible procedure that involves an injection into the testes that coats the vas deferens (the sperm tunnel, if you will) with a coating that makes it so the sperm isn’t viable. Like shooting blanks. There is absolutely no impairment to pleasure or ejaculation, it’s inexpensive, unobtrusive, no side effects have been discovered, no pain, and men will still be able to produce offspring later in their life if they chose to do so. (Clinkenbeard)

So what’s the downside? Well, as one guy I know put it, the idea of a needle in his balls “freaks him out.” Mk, that’s fair. But it’s just a pin-prick and it’s over. It’s a one-time injection, doctors use anesthesia at the injection sight, and hazzah! You won’t get your partner pregnant and- bonus! You don’t have to wear condoms anymore. Sure, a needle down there is a little freaky but what about the things the ladies endure? They get pieces of copper metal stuffed up into their uterus (the Intra Uterine Device or IUD) which often causes agonizing pain for the first several weeks or months after insertion and can cause hormonal side-effects. The IUD object is then left in the body for years. (Rettner) Isn’t that a little freaky too? So would that guy I know be ok with his girlfriend or romantic partner having to manipulate her body and go to those lengths to prevent a pregnancy, a pregnancy that he would be equally responsible for? Just something to think about. (Plus not to mention, after a guy’s girlfriend first gets the IUD put in, it often pokes their penis during sex and I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound so great either. Kinda sounds like, I don’t know, a pin-prick in an uncomfortable location, much like the RISUG injection.)

Here are some great facts about it:

1.) The injection is waaaaay cheaper than taking an expensive prescription pill every day.  The injection costs “less than the syringe used to administer [the injection].” (Clinkenbeard)

2.) The one time injection does not mess with ones hormones or emotions  (Huffingtonpost)

3.) It’s 100 percent effective (Huffingtonpost)

4.) and it would be a one-time procedure that lasts until you decide to reverse it. (Huffingtonpost) Pretty friggin’ amazing.

There are birth control patches, pills, plan b, something to insert into your arm, pieces of metal to rub all up in your business (the IUD) and many other forms of birth control for women, but only condoms for men. Hmmm, now if that’s not unbalanced, I don’t know what is. That is one thing that is especially exciting about this new method for men: it’s for men. And it is not harmful, it’s very cheap in the long run and completely reversible. It takes egg and sperm to create an embryo that could become a life one day. So does it really make sense that so many methods of birth control rely on manipulating the situations around solely the egg? Why do so many birth control methods rely on manipulating and often endangering the female body when there are, and can be, less risky ways to prevent pregnancy via the sperm? One reason is that so many people in our society seem to hold this unconscious assumption that it is the female body that bears the responsibility to avoid pregnancy. Why? As you know, it is the male’s sperm that fertilizes the egg. Without it, hello, pregnancy would not be possible: so it’s a 50-50 responsibility thing. I bet you’re all going, “Yes, duh.” But, based on the contraceptive methods available today, it looks like our society has forgotten that simple fact; that women are not solely responsible for getting pregnant.

“So let’s get RISUG on the market already,” you say. “Sign me up!” “Sign my boyfriend up!” “Sign my siggie up!” (that’s what I’m calling ‘significant other’ these days.) Well hold your horses: Who’s going to make money off this if it’s so cheap? Well those lovely giant pharmaceutical companies sure won’t. But they will make lots and lots of money off of those patches, pills and copper pieces.

So guess what we have to do? We, as consumers, have to say “Yo, American Companies, we want this injection available, or something like it.” Simple as that. And we need to get the conversation rolling and get to chatting with our friends and families and co-workers if you’re so bold. Why should women so often bare the whole burden of avoiding pregnancy when, logically, it’s a 50-50 person-to-person responsibility?

Sources:

1.) “The Best Birth Control in the World is for Men” Jon Clinkenbeard of Techcitement.com. Mar 2012. Web Feb 2014 <http://techcitement.com/culture/the-best-birth-control-in-the-world-is-for-men/#.UvF0Jb-TND2>

2.) “Even Doctors are Confused about IUDs, Study Finds” Rachael Rettner NBCNews.  Nov 2012 Web Feb 2014.  http://www.nbcnews.com/health/even-doctors-are-confused-about-iuds-study-finds-1C6836880 

3.) “Male Birth Control: New Procedure is 100 Percent Effective, Reversible” Huffingtonpost. Mar 2012. Web Feb 2014  <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/03/male-birth-control-reversible_n_1400708.html>

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