Male Birth Control

Male Birth Control

Once again the responsibility falls heavily on women, but this time it is embedded even in research. Let’s talk birth control…

I like to think that a person with more sexual relations should be responsible for birth control. From a biological perspective, in a 9 month period, a female can get pregnant once while a male can get about 270 women pregnant. so who is the problem here?

Although birth control is essential and inevitable, it can be harmful to our bodies and the environment. For women, birth control causes many side effects such as; nausea, bloating, and vaginal irritation. Generally, it causes fluctuations in weight and mood, but in more serious cases it could also increase the risks of high blood pressure and blood clotting. For men, the side-effects of birth control were minor according to an experiment covered by BBC health. Five men on the pill reported mildly decreased sex drive – and two described mild erectile dysfunction – but sexual activity was not decreased, no participant stopped taking it because of side-effects and all passed safety tests.

Regarding the environment, Women who use contraceptive pills release female hormones with urine. In most places, sewage water is filtered before returning to oceans and other water bodies. Nevertheless, hormones cannot be filtered from the water causing fertility issues. For instance, the female hormones affect fish by making them transgender and also men by decreasing their sperm count 30% over many years.

Women’s birth control was approved by the FDA about 60 years ago so why are we still waiting for men’s birth control? The main reason is the potential market. The idea of a male contraceptive pill did not attract enough interest, hence the lack of investment.

“The key will be if there is enough pharmaceutical company interest to bring this product to market if their trials are successful. Unfortunately, so far, there has been very little pharmaceutical company interest in bringing a male contraceptive pill to the market, for reasons that I don’t fully understand but I suspect are more down to business than science.”

Allan Pacey, professor of andrology, at the University of Sheffield

Unfortunately, it looks like a few more decades before male pills become more acceptable in society. Nonetheless, this issue makes me wonder “how many researches have been paused due to social acceptance?”

My name is Fatima Taha and I am 17 years old. I was born and raised in Abu Dhabi, UAE even though I’m originally Sudanese. When I read about feminism, I rarely see Arab or Muslim women being represented and I believe that it is a diverse movement that includes all religions and cultures. I am proud to say that my mother’s strong beliefs about equality and the campaigns she held for raising awareness about feminism in 1994 in a small village in Sudan, deepened my passion for female rights. She is my inspiration because she utilized her education and fluent public speaking skills to encourage a lot of women to see a future for themselves at times where women who had jobs were looked down upon. When my parents immigrated to the UAE, she continued her movement and inspired more females to speak out loud. Although feminism in Arab countries might look different from western societies, the one belief we all have in common is that women empowerment is fundamental to establish a wise society. Hopefully, with my cultural and religious background I can help you see feminism from a different lens.

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