This week, New York magazine published an article on the growing tension between the pill and infertility, because that’s all we write about these days. On the first read, I was excited about it, I think mostly because author Vanessa Grigoriadis references Andrea Tone’s Devices and Desires, which, if I haven’t babbled on enough about it in the past, is a great book. Especially for the holidays, if you want some awesome discussions around the dinner table about suppositories made of crocodile dung. But I digress. Other sites have already taken NY Mag to task for what they …
A new contraceptive body cream, which could one day replace the Pill, has been developed by scientists, the UK media reports this morning. Women need only to rub a small amount of the product into their arms, legs, shoulders or abdomen, once a day, to ensure that they do not fall pregnant. In early clinical trials, the cream has thus far proved to be just as effective as using the Pill.
The main benefit of the contraceptive cream, reportedly, is that it does not cause the same side effects, such as weight gain, acne or mood swings, that affect 40% of women who take the Pill. Experts believe that this could make the cream popular with self-conscious girls …
Let’s play a game. Make a list of all the birth control options you can think of that are available now, or were used in the past. Then go down that list and mark which ones that are – or have been – the responsibility of the female to take care of, and which ones are the responsibility of the male. And tally up the difference.
If you did it right, you’ll notice that you’ll get two lists of very different lengths. Women have always largely been in charge of birth control practices, and this year, that responsibility was celebrated by the 50th anniversary of the Pill. The creation of the Pill, and all the versions that have come since then, have meant numerous positive additions to available birth control options for women. But that’s the problem; they’ve only been available for women. And this past summer, a study of more than 50,000 African-American women headed by Boston University epidemiologist Lynn Rosenberg found that among those women who had ever taken a birth-control pill, there was a 65 percent increase in a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer….
STI transmission is a rampant problem and has been for many years. Even today, when the “Is it safe?” question comes up in casual sexual encounters, there’s a base assumption that you’re talking pregnancy, not the herp. If, as a woman, I say, “I take the pill,” it seems like men are perfectly happy to just go for it, to both take me at my word in terms of pregnancy prevention and totally avoid the equally important STI conversation.
There is a risk involved on both ends in those kinds of situations, but there can be an assumption made that consenting adults can make the choice to take every precaution to protect their health.
Fifty years ago, Guatemalan prisoners and mental hospital patients were not so lucky when the U.S. government used them as unsuspecting guinea pigs to conduct research into treatment of STIs including syphilis and gonorrhea.