To share or not to share in the responsibility: Birth control for men

By: Jennifer Pretty Oct 09, 2012
birth control for men

In most countries we can make decisions about our bodies and decide when it is time to have children. Thanks to major medical advancements in the early 1960s, we have options available to us to prevent pregnancy.

I don’t know about you, but I love having options. Whether I choose to use one or not, I love that I don’t have to worry that these options aren’t available to me. I consider it to be liberating to be able to decide when I want kids or if I want them at all.

From pills, to patches to IUD’s there is a broad list of options to prevent unwanted pregnancy. The interesting thing is that these options typically fall on the responsibility of the woman. While there are endless options for women, there aren’t for men. Men really have only have two options – condom or vasectomy. But change is on the horizon...

Researchers from Baylor College and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute teamed up to create a compound (known as JQ1) that would help in the fight against cancer. An unintended result of this discovery is that JQ1 interrupts sperm production. They are very early in their research (still using mice, and haven’t graduated to people), but it appears as though there are three positives to JQ1:

  • It significantly lowers sperm count – for the duration of time taking JQ1
  • It does this without side effects (loss of sex drive, blood clots, weight gain)
  • It is 100% reversible – meaning once the mice discontinued use of JQ1, their sperm count returned to normal.

A male birth control pill would be a huge advancement. “"Despite the availability of birth control for women and condoms for men, as many as 49 percent of births in the U.S. were unplanned in 2006, according to a 2011 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," says Shannon Pettypiece at Bloomberg.

A serious question I pose to you ladies. If researchers graduated to testing JQ1 (with any hope they will change the name) in humans and found that it were safe and effective how would you feel about your man sharing in the responsibility of preventing unwanted pregnancy?


Until next time,

Peace, love and vitamin C!


Jennifer Pretty began her career as the director of artist development for a well-known Canadian music label. Branching out on her own, she then started her own PR business “Pretty Media Management” planning and hosting various charity, entertainment and fashion events. As a dance and fitness class enthusiast Jennifer is a firm believer in the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. She also loves to cook, travel, spend time with family and friends and most importantly living life to the fullest!