Birth control methods are targeted at the wrong gender: It's time we leave pseudo-feminism and focus on real problems

Richa Khare
Photo by Alex Hockett on Unsplash

Kids are tough, but there has to be some penalty for sex.

Humans and dolphins are a few of the creatures who have sex for pleasure. While we don’t know about dolphins, we certainly don’t want a kid every time we have sex. So, the need for some type of contraception method arises.

For times immemorial, we have known about various methods of contraception which are all targeted primarily at women. All things related to conception and birth procedure were always considered as a woman’s domain. Men just had to have fun for a while and then they were laid off the duty of childbearing and rearing.

Since a child comes out of the womb of a woman, it’s been taken for granted that contraception should be aimed at them only. Our ancestors didn’t know much about protection so it’s understood why they thought so. Although then the onus of birth control was placed on men due to the unavailability of any other methods than withdrawal, condom and restricted sex.

Both The Partners Are Responsible For Conception

With the progress of technology and science, we all know how fertilization takes place and both the partners are equally responsible and answerable for conception. But it also resulted in putting the pressure of birth control primarily on women. It somewhat translated into freedom for women so was welcomed with open arms. But with times, the need for some male-centric birth control methods was felt by everyone.

So how come still we rely only on women-centric methods of contraception? There are so many products aimed at women like:

  1. Oral pills
  2. IUD
  3. Contraceptive Implants
  4. Contraceptive Injections
  5. Emergency Pill or Morning-After pill
  6. Contraceptive Ring
  7. Diaphragm
  8. Sterilization or Ligation

and the list goes on

And for men? Only two:

  1. Condoms
  2. Vasectomy

Out of which only condoms are used widely because they protect against STDs too. When it comes to Vasectomy, very few males actually go ahead fearing their masculinity will go away with it. Although these same men have no such problem when their wives go through the sterilization process even though again and again it’s recommended to sterilize a male because the procedure is much simpler compared to a female’s. It’s reversible too though for women the reversible operation is much complicated and has a low success rate. One more reason why men should consider sterilization instead of making their wives do it.

The onus of childbearing and rearing had always been on women naturally but males can at least take some responsibility when it comes to contraception but as always they don’t want to be bothered. Since childbirth affects a woman’s health primarily, she has to take steps to improve her health by protecting against unwanted pregnancy.

Men Are Responsible For More Unwanted Pregnancies

Now let’s see why this approach is wrong practically too. Statistics prove that:

One man can impregnate 4 women every day for 9 months

Those are 1080 pregnancies.

One woman can only get pregnant once within 9 months, even if she beds 4 men every day within 9 months.

That’s only 1 pregnancy.

While women have a few fertile days in a month, men remain fertile for the entirety of their lives. Women usually reach menopause at around 50 years of age. Men on the other hand remain fertile till an advanced age however sperm count might reduce with age. Just one other reason why the male birth control method should exist.

So clearly, society is placing the birth control responsibilities on the wrong gender.
Science is busy making pills and hormone-altering devices for the wrong person.

Male Birth Control Methods

It’s not that anyone didn’t try to make contraception for men. In 2016, a study was conducted to develop an injectable form of male birth control which was effective and reversible. But the research was halted halfway because of side effects. And what were the side effects: acne, pain at the injection site, mood swings, and increased libido.

By comparison, the side effects of a woman birth control method can include side effects such as acne, breast pain, nausea or vomiting, headaches, diarrhoea, weight gain, dizziness, spotting, abdominal pain, fatigue, vaginal infections and even more serious conditions like blood clots and an increased risk of some cancers.

Obviously, our culture has conveniently put the responsibility of birth control on women so that men are not inconvenienced. They don’t want to be bothered and have left to their women partners — discomfort, inconvenience, expense and side-effects included.

To Think About……..

By aiming birth control methods at men, much more pregnancies can be prevented. Every month all the women in their productive age have to undergo severe hormonal changes at the time of their periods. On above that they need to tackle extra hormones by contraception too. Add household chores and children supervision and care and bingo, it’s a perfect recipe for anxiety and tension.

A woman’s mental health affects the well being of the whole family and not just the woman. If she’s happy and healthy, she can provide better care and happiness to her family. A better mood will ensure the happiness of the whole family. So it’s to the benefit of everyone that women be relieved from the birth control duty.

Many men who are ready to take on this duty find the dearth of male birth control methods a hindrance. It’s high time, medical companies start exploring this area and provide some options for men too so that everyone is benefited.

Child making is a two-person job and that is why only women should not be the only ones held responsible for preventing childbirth.

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A passionate storyteller who can't wait to form an emotional and friendly bond with my readers. I love to write about travel, health, pets and feminism.


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