- Kathryn Patterson
Thoughts about Birth Control: Female vs Male
While the abortion debate rages on and on, I wonder why we don't talk about birth control more. Why is the topic of condom, pills, IUDs, and such controversial? I mean, it seems to me that preventing pregnancy is a good way to know need abortions.
But even this topic is not without strife.
"Why do women need to worry about birth control and take the pills (get an IUD,...)?" "Why don't we have male birth control (that's not a condom)?" Here's the thing. It's easy to control women's fertility because women have a built-in pause and stop mechanism. Women don't have periods during pregnancy and have a limited number of fertile years. When scientists wanted to control a woman's fertility, they just had to figure out how to utilize the already existing system. But the same is definitely not true for men. A boy grows up, hits puberty, and BAM! Instant sperm factory! The testes begin to work, producing something like 1,500 sperm per second each, every second of every hour of every day. That's millions of sperm per day. But men don't have a built-in pause or a built-in stop. In fact, any given man can father a child up until death. That's why there's exactly one temporary male birth control option is a barrier, such as a condom, and one permanent option - a vasectomy. To be honest, there's research ongoing into creating other options for men. But I don't know of any that are ready for prime time yet. Just a thought...