If you haven't picked up on it yet, I have two kids. One is almost two, one is almost 4 months. In other words, I'm not trying to have another baby anytime soon. But, you know, I still like my husband enough to want to do the sex stuff that happy couples do. What's a girl to do?
Contraception, that's what.
Here's the catch - hormonal birth control does not agree with me. At all. It makes me depressed and anxious, it gives me migraines, and it makes me gain/retain weight. None of this is ideal.
Non-hormonal birth control (IUDs) are generally safe and very effective. However, when things go badly with an IUD - they go very, very badly. I know at least one person who has lost their uterus due to an IUD complication. While I don't want to use my uterus at the moment, I don't think I'm done with it just yet. Losing it (and thus my fertility) would be devastating. Knowing that I okayed a device that cost me so greatly would emotionally wreck me. This is just me - I know, it's sort of irrational.
Surprise! As an anxious human, I tend to jump to the worst possible conclusions and try to prep for or prevent them.
So what does that leave? The pill/ring/patch/implant is out. IUDs are a hard pass. Condoms are fine, I guess. They're all I've got left.
I really wish that MEN had access to contraceptives - and not just barriers or spermicide. Like, actual, doctor-prescribed, 99% effective contraception.
GUESS WHAT? Some awesome science-y types are working on just that! A company called The Parsemus Foundation expects human clinical trials to begin this year. That means I'll probably be done with making babies by the time this option is on the market. Which, I guess, might work out in the long run! But what is this fantastical magical male contraception? It's called Vasalgel.
Vasalgel is a gel-like polymer inspired by another polymer in clinical trials in India. Essentially, a urologist injects this polymer into the vas deferens, blocking sperm from their exit. It's like a non-surgical vasectomy. IT GETS BETTER. Vasalgel. Is. Reversible!!! If a guy decides he'd like to become fertile again, the polymer is flushed out and healthy sperm return promptly. The clinical trials will test the efficacy of this reversal over time, among other things.
In our lifetime, we could see a non-surgical, temporary contraceptive option that is accessible for MEN to use. It's non-hormonal, which is great to hear. Nobody needs to deal with a bunch of whiny guys who just got a shot in their balls. To be fair, a shot in the balls sounds like it hurts for a second. Also in the spirit of equality, women do all the birthing, so...maybe it's time to take one for the team, guys?
You can promote Vasalgel by doing just what I'm doing right now - tell people about it! Visit the Male Contraceptive Initiative's homepage to learn about Vasalgel and other potential/future options. Or, make a tax-deductible donation to Parsemus so they can fund the development. Big Pharma doesn't like long-lasting reversible contraception - it doesn't give them the same steady income as does a woman taking daily pills.
On that slightly conspiratorial note, I'll take my leave. My kids are both sleeping right now so it's time to go get some. I imagine a future when I can do the horizontal polka without a care in my mind, knowing that my husband won't knock me up any time we knock boots. Ah, to be a man! Or, to be a woman living in a world with reasonable health care that covers male contraceptives. A girl can dream!
How would your partner react to you asking them to use Vasalgel? Did you have a discussion over your contraceptive choices? How would those discussions differ? Tell me all your thoughts and feelings about making that Michael Scott, "SNIP SNAP SNIP SNAP" a thing of the past! @pi3sugarpi3