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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SLU chapter.

Why isn’t there widely accepted birth control for men? For decades now it has been on women to take charge of preventing pregnancy through a form of birth control  such as the pill, an intrauterine device (IUD) or an implant. But men do not have this same burden as there is no oral contraceptive for men. The only options for birth control for men, as of now, are condoms and vasectomies. Condoms are easily accessible but they only provide 85% effectiveness—while the pill or the IUD provides over 99% effectiveness, making it a more attractive choice. 

While there have been developments in male birth control in the past decades it is far from being released for general use. In 2016, NPR discussed male birth control on their show “All Things Considered.” They discussed the reason why the male birth control pill study was stopped: many of the participants of the study faced side effects. These side effects included “mood swings, depression, and weight gain,” which are just a couple of side effects that women also face on the female birth control pill that has been around for decades. In fact, female birth control comes with a pamphlet that is around a foot in height and width covered with side effects that can occur when taking the pill.Since then, however, there have been other developments in the realm of male birth control. According to Michelle Roberts, a health editor for BBC News online, in 2019 a male birth control pill had passed safety checks for humans. However, due to lack of funding, this birth control pill for males would not reach the market for at least another decade. The lack of male birth control funding says more about society than science. 

Society has pushed the responsibility of not getting pregnant on women, even though men are involved in women getting pregnant as much as women. But it is on the woman to be careful, not the men. It directly depicts how our society holds men to a lesser standard in comparison to women. Although they have access to this birth control, it will not reach markets because pharmaceutical companies do not believe that men will take the responsibility of preventing pregnancy. This does not just impact women, but men as well. If a woman does not want to take birth control, which is a completely valid decision, the man cannot do anything about it. But if there was an option for men to take a form of birth control similar to a pill, then both him and his partner or partners would have a significantly less chance of getting pregnant. While it is great that women have access to birth control, it should not only be on the women to reduce the chance of pregnancy. Male birth control should be on the market to allow for both men and women to have safe sex without having to worry about pregnancy.

Amreen is a Junior on the Pre-Law track with a major in Political Science and Economics. Amreen was born in Texas but calls Kansas her home. She loves to write about her life and her personal view of the world around her!