Why Isn’t There A Male Birth Control Option Yet?

Birth control. It comes in all shapes, sizes, and methods…

But there is one kind of birth control that all women look forward to: and that’s a hormonal male contraceptive.
Maybe we could have them overlap or something? Combine somehow? Or maybe combine just a white pill with the male symbol and then do an ‘explosion’ and the reveal will be the blue pill

You know, for the fellas.

So what’s the deal? Why don’t we have a hormonal male birth control method yet?

When it comes to male-centric birth control options, there are really only two choices.

Condoms or vasectomies.

Condoms being that sheath-like barrier, typically made from latex, that prevent semen from entering a sexual partner.

While a vasectomy is a form of male sterilization which prevents pregnancy by sealing the vas deferens to keep sperm from entering the urethra and ultimately leaving the body during ejaculation.

Combined, these two methods only make up around 23% of total contraceptive use. Which leaves the remaining 77% to women.

Talk about heavy lifting. But that’s the problem. Contraception has long been thought of as exclusively a “women’s issue” even though it takes two to tango.

And if making a baby is 50% a woman’s job, and 50% a man’s, then why isn’t preventing a baby 50/50 too?

Why don’t we have a hormonal male birth control yet?! Surprisingly, it really has nothing to do with the efficacy of the drugs. Funding is one of the main major obstacles in the quest for a male pill.

Broadly speaking, new drugs cost tens of millions of dollars to test and put on the market. And when it comes to male birth control, there’s not much incentive to fund it since, well, the ladies have it covered already.

Not to mention many major drug companies—which are led by older white men—don’t see the value in creating a hormonal male contraceptive because it’s thought that men won’t go for it.

And when trials of male birth control do get rolling, they’re frequently canceled due to side effects of the liver, since the contraceptives typically contain testosterone which can be pretty toxic.

Quick side note here: female hormonal contraceptives carry side effects too, including spotting, nausea, changing your level of sexual desire, an increased risk of blood clots and/or stroke and 0, but you know…Whatever.

Which really just goes back to an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude about female hormonal birth control.

Contraception is viewed as a women’s issue most likely because it’s women who carry the children. Which is weird considering that the type of sex involved in making a baby involves both a man and a woman.

But that’s not to say a hormonal male birth control won’t ever happen. There’s actually a potentially promising one in trials right now called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU.

But who knows how long it’ll be ‘til it hits shelves, if it all. Until then, what can I say? Ladies, the burden falls on you. Then again, are we really prepared to trust men with remembering to take a daily pill?