The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 January 2003

Hit me with your rhythm stick

I tend to give relatively little thought to the matter of contraception, partially because I had The Operation in 1981, but mostly because the number of sexual partners I have had in recent years can be counted on the fingers of no hands.

Patty at Pdawwg, however, has given it a lot of thought:

[I]f you ask me, getting rid of The Pill strikes me as a good idea. Who thought it was a spectacular idea to prevent conception by shutting women's bodies down from their natural functioning? Surely all the money spent on developing the birth control pill could have been better put into really good equipment (I'm thinking like those way cool blood sugar machines they make for diabetes monitoring that my dad had) that with 99% accuracy shows a woman's fertile time so all she need do is abstain to prevent conception.

Instead we take drugs that can lead to "nausea, vomiting, bleeding between menstrual periods, weight gain, breast tenderness, and difficulty wearing contact lenses" for the minor side effects and blood clots, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, worse migraines, faster-growing tumors, increase the need for insulin for diabetic women, increased depression, irritability (like we need more of that!), water retention, leg cramps.

If this is the best medical science can offer us, I'd prefer a vet.

I suspect that were something like this offered to us guy-type persons, we would run like hell. Of course, were we the half of the species that got pregnant in the first place, world population would be something like 300,000 and they'd give out two-for-one abortion coupons at the Hy-Vee.

Posted at 7:47 PM to Life and/or Death

I heard somewhere (20/20?) that there a "male contraceptive pill" has been developed, but that no drug companies want to fund the extra push it would need to get FDA approval and get on the market because, well, there's no market for it.

Your last paragraph proves that said drug companies might not be wrong. Still puts all that responsibility on us ladies, though, which isn't exactly fair, either.

Ah...such is life. Or the prevention of it, anyway.

Posted by: lee at 8:47 PM on 17 January 2003

Well, men are generally more pro-choice on abortion than women are as things stand today, so I guess you may be right.

Developing a male contraceptive pill is difficult, simply because testes produced sperm 24/7, whereas the woman typically only ovulates once per month, and has natural hormones that stop that production.

They did invent a pill for men, but it caused intense nausea even at consumption of small amounts of alcohol, and did find that the market was very limited.

Although I must point out that it's also very easy to exaggerate these side effects of BCPs for women. If you look at almost any drug, they all have

Posted by: Dean Esmay at 1:50 AM on 18 January 2003

oops. I meant to say, they all have a list of symptoms that sound scary as hell. Try looking up aspirin some time. Strokes, seizures, and ulcers just to start. Tylenol can destroy your liver, amongst other things...

Posted by: Dean Esmay at 1:52 AM on 18 January 2003

I should note here that the reason I got The Operation in the first place was that my erstwhile spouse was having semi-serious negative reactions to oral contraceptives, and it seemed more logical for me to undergo a brief period of major discomfort rather than for her to put up with minor physical problems on a regular basis.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:33 AM on 18 January 2003

Ian Drury & The Blockheads...circa 1978.

Posted by: DavidMSC at 2:02 PM on 18 January 2003