Birth control pills have been available since the 1960s, but only for women. When will it be men’s turn? (BruceBlaus photo / Wikimedia Commons)

Birth control pills have been available since the 1960s, but only for women. When will it be men’s turn? (BruceBlaus photo / Wikimedia Commons)

Birth control: a pill too tough for men to swallow

A tough pill to swallow

As you might already know, it’s pretty great being a guy.

We can pee standing up, we’re still undefeated in presidential elections and we never need to worry about having our innards rearranged to bring another human being into the world.

In fact, for the most part we don’t have to worry about any of the really bothersome parts of the reproductive process. No cramps, no hormone-induced mood swings and no unpleasant side effects from chemical birth-control methods because, hey, they aren’t our problem.

The pill arrived in 1960, contraceptive injections in 1980 and Norplant in 1983, and all of them are for women. In our latest poll at HeraldNet.com, we asked what you think is the top reason (or excuse) why there aren’t any chemical birth-control methods for men. Our contenders:

• Pharmaceutical companies aren’t interested (32 percent of the vote). It’s true that major companies haven’t invested a lot in this area since the 1970s, but in their defense, they’ve been busy creating drugs for invented ailments, then making drugs to combat the side effects of their drugs. It’s a lot of work.

• Men couldn’t handle the side effects (31 percent): There might be some truth to this. A study of a male birth-control injection was cut short recently after some men complained of acne and mood swings. This set off a worldwide eye-roll among every woman who heard about it.

• Scientists haven’t made it happen (23 percent): It’s definitely a challenge, just because of the math. Whereas drugs for women involve neutralizing (usually) one egg each month, men produce 1,000 sperm every second. Just think: Even when we’re just sitting around watching football, we are being incredibly productive.

• There’s no need, since women have it covered (13 percent): If we’re being honest, this might be the root of all the other reasons. Did I mention it’s great to be a guy?

Doug Parry, parryracer@gmail.com. Twitter: @parryracer.


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