Over the weekend, you may have heard about a study exploring the possibility of hormone-based male birth control. The study was even finding the birth control to be effective, until too many of the men dropped out because they couldn’t take the side effects.
Overall, 20 men dropped out early due to side effects. A total of 1,491 adverse events were reported by participants, including injection site pain, muscle pain, increased libido and acne.
To which every woman who’s ever been on birth control responded:
Because this is something we are all too familiar with. So excuse us, birth control dudes if we have ZERO sympathy for your sudden and short-lived plight. We might— we would!— feel for you if only those 20 of you hadn’t rubbed it in our faces that you had the option of just stopping whenever you felt like it. You don’t have to choose between abstinence and all of the highly imperfect birth control methods out there. Because let me tell you, dudes, they ALL suck.
I tried the Depo-Provera birth control shot (similar to what these men were testing) when I was in college, and I immediately thought I had lost my mind. I consider myself a fairly even-keeled person (despite all the caps I may use here), but those hormones made my keel lose its shit.
I didn’t have the same side effects with the pill that many other women experience (mood swings, painful periods, headaches, acne, blot clots, etc.) but did you know you have to take the pill every single day, at the exact same time every day? I hope you don’t take offense, guys, that I can’t imagine many women— you know, the ones who could actually get pregnant— are just going to take you at your word that you’re better at remembering that than most of us ever are.
The IUD is awesome— after the initial month or so that it takes before a lot of women stop feeling like their cervix is trying to eat its own way out of their body.
So no, the side effects these men felt aren’t a joke. (Especially considering, even though the researchers deemed it unrelated, one man committed suicide during the study.) Birth control screws with your brain and your body and can be anything from a mild annoyance to totally harrowing. But we do it because we want control of our bodies and our choices and need an option between abstinence and growing a person inside us. This is shit we’ve been dealing with for literally ever.
So excuse us for not making these guys feel-better soup and tucking them into bed after their 24-week study. They’re gonna be just fine.