OPINION: Male birth control — Why didn’t we think of this before?

Lafene Health Center provides birth control pills, condoms, female condoms and many informational brochures about preventing STDs. (Archive Photo)

For a while, women have been expected to take some form of birth control — a pill, IUD, patch, shots — and plan their families themselves. Meanwhile, men can have sex worry-free. If their condom breaks or they don’t pull out in time, they expect women to be on something. Why is this? Why has society perpetuated this idea that it’s the woman’s sole responsibility to make sure she doesn’t get pregnant? Why aren’t both genders held to this same standard?

Well hold on my lady friends, because there may be hope for us yet! Within the next three to five years, intravenous shots, hormone gels and the hormonal birth control pill will be available to men. At the University of Washington and LA BioMed Research Institute, different amounts of Dimethandrolone Undecanoate were administered to 100 men by random assignment and researchers observed the effects.

For 28 days, the participants took the hormone pill once daily and returned to the lab often to have their vitals measured, behavior and mood changes observed and a checkup on their overall well-being. The results indicated that participants who received higher levels of DMAU produced drastically lower levels of sperm concentration than the control group who were given placebo pills. Success, people!

Men produce enough sperm to impregnate a woman everyday for a year, but women can only give birth once every nine months. It’s quite laughable really that we didn’t think of controlling the amount of sperm men release before now. So, I don’t have the answers to the questions I asked before, but I do know what we can do now: expect both women and men to be prepared before they have sex by taking birth control and using a condom.

Be adults y’all. If you want to have sex, you need to have these mature conversations. Get over yourselves and realize this is bigger than just you and your pleasure: its both of your futures, its both of your lives — so get a grip.

The development of these contraceptive methods is a big opportunity for men to step up and show women they care about protecting against unwanted pregnancies just as much as women do. But until they are released on the market, the same options for men remain: condoms, the pull-out method or a vasectomy. I know that none of these sound fun, but they are necessary if you don’t want to be a parent. So to both partners: do your part, be adults and have fun.

Paige Eickhorn is a senior in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

I’m a senior in journalism & mass communications. In addition to writing on staff for the Collegian, I’m the online editor for Manhappenin magazine and I've worked for the Royal Purple Yearbook. I'm also the founder of the Wildcats Against Sexual Violence student organization and I'm licensed to fly drones! When I graduate, I hope to get a job as a criminal investigative reporter.