Maybe you’ve been sick before. You had a nasty flu virus or even had to have your gallbladder removed. Maybe you were in a car accident and broke a bone. All of your loved ones came to the hospital bearing gifts and even friends you hadn’t spoken to since high school sent their “well wishes” for your recovery. And you did, recover, that is.
Chronic illness is a little bit different. Most people tire of hearing about it pretty quickly. They have their own stuff to deal with and you can be a bit dramatic for their taste. You learn to talk about it less. But let your coworker have a fierce cold and it is straight up on like Donkey Kong. You know what they say––– Minor surgery is when someone else is going under the knife, major surgery is when you are.
I can’t help but feel similarly about the study recently released by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The study lists its primary and secondary objectives as: the rate of suppression of spermatogenesis (primary) 1) maintenance of suppression of spermatogenesis; 2) reversibility of the regimen as determined by the return of sperm concentrations (secondary).
In other words, birth control, they were working on effective birth control-for men. The men in the study came in for hormonal injections over 56 weeks, in hopes of developing a hormonal contraceptive for men.
However, the study ended early, despite its successful outcomes because twenty men chose to exit the study early. Why? Well, because they didn’t like the side effects. Were their limbs fallings off? Was their vision failing? No, friends. They were feeling a little moody, having some acne, overcome with the need for a night out with the girls and a hot bath— wait, no, not that last part. Maybe they were feeling a little down and bloated?
Ladies, is any of this sounding a little familiar? I mean, just the tiniest bit? Right. They were experiencing normal birth control side effects. You know, the same ones we’ve been dealing with for years. And maybe, just maybe, the same ones your significant other has been tuning out when you voiced your lack of love for?
The good news here? The study shows promise and there’s a lot in this study to use against your significant other the next time they tell you the side effects can’t be all that bad. There’s also more research and study to be done. Many will have questions (as my husband did) about how these hormones are being used, the safety of their long-term use on the male body and the deeper question of whether or not men will accept the responsibility of owning their part in birth control whether through this method or others.
We know no method will be perfect or without its own discomfort. Will men accept this or continue to leave the onus on the female to avoid pregnancy, assuming those side effects are “minor surgery” in the meantime?