Arts & CultureSex & Relationships

A world with the male birth control pill

Since the approval of the birth control pill in the early 1960s, women have largely carried the burden of contraception: we set daily reminders into our phones to take the pill, we get the Depo-Provera shot every 12 weeks, we use the birth-control [email protected]@[email protected]@

Finally, that burden may lighten.

According to an article by MSNBC, a drug used for cancer treatment could become the first birth control pill for men. Researchers have tested the drugs in mice and have noticed that, when injected, the mice become infertile. The drug turns off a gene called BRDT, causing the mice testicles to “forget” how to develop sperm (“Whoops!”).

The best part? The article states that the pill didn’t affect the mice fertility in the long-run. After they stopped getting the drug, the mice could still impregnate fellow mice and make little mice babies. The pill isn’t ready to test on humans yet, but, if it works, it will be a hormone-free birth control pill. (Note: Female birth control pills aren’t even hormone-free. In order to curb ovulation, they are infused with estrogen. No fair.)

In a world in which pregnancy and its prevention weigh more heavily on females (literally and figuratively), a male birth control pill would allow men to take more control over their fertility, thus allowing them to play a larger role in contraception.

And, honestly, it’s only fair. I don’t want to be the only one having to remember to take the pill, day after day, before bedtime. Wouldn’t it be cool to share some of that stress? This year, you take the pill; next year, I will — and so on?

It’s hard to imagine a world in which guys, over beers, remind each other to take their birth control. Nevertheless, I know it’s a world I’d love to be a part of.

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Katherine Marrone

Katherine Marrone

Katherine Marrone is the sex and relationships writer for the Emerald. A feminist and activist, she likes writing about gender issues and social justice.