Who will make the first male birth control?

 

There are many forms of birth control for women and companies making birth control for women, but when will any form of male birth control (other than the condom) be available to men? Well hopefully it wont be too much longer. Many universities and institutions, from India to Minnesota, have gained ground on the production of male birth control.

In the past I have posted about a possible birth control injection for men called RISUG (reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance). It was created by Sujoy Guha in India, and although it is 100% effective it is getting wrapped in a lot of red tape. There is no need to be too sad over this injection not being on the market, because many other forms of male birth control may be on the way.

The Rockefeller University has been using research on cell death to try and create a male birth control and cure male infertility. I am no biology major but, to the best of my knowledge cell death is when the body purposefully kills its own cells; when sperm is being created it loses a large amount of its size by partial cell death. Sperm needs to loose a lot of it size in order to be fertile. Now that scientists at Rockefeller know more about the way sperm cells are created they can use this information to change the sperm: they can prevent sperm from having partial cell death and render them infertile or in cases of infertility where the sperm are not undergoing cell death they can cause it to happen. This is exciting stuff because knowing how cells are created will not only help in reproductive technologies but also in other areas of medicine such as cancer research.

The scientists at Rockefeller have been pretty busy because they may have a form of birth control on the market -hopefully- soon. In the studies the drug is in the form of a gel but could change forms when it has been further tested. One of the test subjects of this birth control has taken to reddit to share his experience. According to the test subject, and this article by Huffington Post, the only side effect was being horny(er). Considering all the side effects women face when taking birth control (depending on the type and person: abdominal pain, headaches, bloating, mood swings, blood clots, death…shall I go on) this doesn’t seem like a bad side effect at all. Hopefully the studies will end soon and this new drug will enter the market.

The University of Minnesota’s  Gunda Georg, the head of The College of Pharmacy’s Department of Medicinal Chemistry, is working with a team of scientists to develop Gamendazole.  Gamendozole is a birth control pill for men.

Georg said the drug will be a “reversible” alternative to permanent vasectomies because men will be able to take the pill to temporarily minimize fertility and can regain fertility if they stop taking it… She said the drug has to be completely free of side-effects, such as potential sperm damage, before being released onto the market. “This drug has to be absolutely clean,” Georg said, “and that’s a very high hurdle to take.” (source)

Like many birth control creations for men it takes a long time to get on the market; too bad it wasn’t created at the same time as female birth control when no one cared about the side effects and deaths of test subjects or it would be on the market today along side the female birth control, but lets not dwell in the past.

In the future there will be a male form of birth control which will give men more reproductive options then they have every had before, and give couples more ways to prevent pregnancy. Let’s hope someone wins the fight to be the creators of the first male birth control on the market very soon, because we all know it will be in high demand.

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23 Women Die from Birth Control

At least twenty three Canadian women are suspected to have died from two of the most popular birth control pills in Canada: Yaz and Yasmin. Both Yaz and Yasmin are made by a company named Bayer. The two brands of birth control are linked to blood clots which can cause death. Women as young as 14 have died from blood clots while on Yaz or Yasmin. Health Canada is researching the birth control pill. Most of the deaths happened very early after taking the pills, one women died a month after starting Yasmin birth control.

Doctors say that there have been over 600 Canadian cases of side affects caused by Yaz and Yasmin. In the United States there have been many class action lawsuits against Bayer due to the side affects of the birth control pills. In Canada a judge has granted a class action lawsuit against the company. Bayer plans on appealing the granting of a class action lawsuit. Bayer says that it stands by its product.

Bayer needs to own up to what they have done. They need to compensate the families and stop making their birth control pills. If I owned a birth control company that caused 23 Canadian women to die and 600 to have adverse side affects I would stop selling my product. Why are they continuing to sell their product after it has hurt and killed women? Do they enjoy harming women? It does not make sense to me in any way. Even if they fix their product so that their are no longer side affects I would never buy their product. Sorry Bayer but it will never work between us.

What ever medicine you take, birth control or otherwise, should be safe and affective. Also be very careful to research side effects and always discus them with your doctor. You can never be too careful when it comes to the medicine you put in your body. If you are on medicine and feel any side effects always contact your doctor. Don’t be afraid to contact them it is their job to keep you healthy and safe.

For more information on the deaths caused by Yaz and Yasmine watch this CBC video posted June 11, 2013:

Ireland Keeps Abortion Restrictions In New Bill

Ireland keeps restrictions that make abortion only legal when it is an emergency abortion but makes changes in order to “clarify” when an emergency abortion may be performed. The new protection of life during pregnancy bill does not necessarily change the law it really only makes it more specific. The law is meant to clearly say when an emergency abortion may be performed. An abortion may be performed legally in Ireland when the:

a)that procedure is carried out by a registered medical practitioner at an appropriate location, and

(b) two medical practitioners, have, in accordance with this head, jointly certified in good faith that –

(i) there is a real and substantial risk of loss of the pregnant woman’s life other than by way of self-destruction, and

(ii) in their reasonable opinion this risk can be averted only by that medical procedure.

Now I have not read the bill in its entirety but I do not like what I have read. As you can see above you must have two medical practitioners in order to receive an emergency abortion. This causes inaccessibility even in cases when a women’s life is in danger. Not only would it be difficult to find two doctors willing to perform an abortion there are also restrictions on what kind of doctor you can have. One of the doctors must be an obstetrician/gynaecologist who is registered  with the Specialist Division. Also the doctors cannot be the women’s own general practitioner because they must be consulted by the other two doctors. This is could cause a women to be unable to find doctors willing to give her an abortion and therefore cause her to die.

Even after the death of Savita Halappanavar the laws have not changed to help women. For those of you who did not hear about Halappanavar here is her story in little detail. She was a 31 year old dentist in Galway Ireland who went to a University hospital complaining of pain. She was having a miscarriage but the doctors could not help her because the fetus still had a heartbeat. They told her and her husband that they were a Catholic country and therefore could not abort her dying fetus. Halappanavar and her husband are not Irish or Catholic, yet they had to follow the Catholic laws against abortion. Halappanavar and her fetus died as a result of the lack of treatment at a hospital.

There has been much public outcry and protest after Halappanavar’s death yet this new bill does not address this. The new bill, as far as I have read, does not allow for the termination of pregnancy in Halappanava’s case. I am avidly pro-choice as you know from reading this blog and therefore believe that there should be no restrictions at all when it comes to abortion, birth control and reproductive right. I understand that Ireland is a Catholic country and therefore religion is influential in cases like this, but when it comes to cases like Halappanava religion needs to realise that the women’s life is important. Halappanava could have lived. If she was in England, Canada, Switzerland, even in most US States she would have survived.

Bills should not be changed to clarify existing restrictions they should be changed to remove restrictions and help women. Women have a right to life, and a right to their own physical and emotional safety that is being ignored in this bill.

Peterborough Pro-Life

Over 25 years of anti choice anger and I have never heard of them. I live in Peterborough Canada and attend Trent University there but some how have never heard of the Peterborough Pro-Life organization (PPL).  According to this article they protest every single Saturday outside the Peterborough Hospital. This blew my mind. I had no idea they existed. As a feminist and a supporter of choice and all reproductive rights I am amazed I have never heard of them. Thanks to a lovely friend of mine, I now know about them.

Although I have never heard of them they seem to have some friends in high places. Local conservative MP Dean Del Mastro assisted the PPL in getting information about the number of abortions performed. The hospital did not want to give them this information.

They want to put religion in politics in a time period where we thankfully have a secular state. One of the women involved, Mrs. van der Vegt., said this about being pro-life: “It’s spiritual warfare,”. She also said that she is protesting because it is God’s will. I disagree with her. The God I believe in respects women’s rights and knows that religion has no place in legislation.

If any of you wonderful people who read this blog live in the area I am thinking about maybe shaking up their Saturday routine by having a little counter protest. It will be a good warm up for the big protest in Ottawa on May 9th, the anniversary of R v Morgentaler.

I understand that people are pro life and that this is a valid opinion to have. Feminism is not about the choices you make it is about having a choice. My only problem is people who are pro life is that they want to take away other peoples rights when pro choice only wants to give everyone options.

Here is information on PPL if you’re interested:

Ali van der Vegt Phone: (705) 745-3820 E-mail: ali.vandervegt@yahoo.ca

Join the Peterborough Pro-Life Silent Prayer Vigil every Saturday, 10AM to 11AM. Peterborough Regional Health Centre 1 Hospital Dr, Peterborough, ON

Please do not email or call Mrs. van der Vegt if you plan on sending rude, offensive, threatening messages to her. I give you this information because it was on the article linked, not so you can do any harm. Everyone deserves to have an opinion and you should not be mean to them because of it.

Canadian Birth Control Recall

Canadian company Apotex is recalling Alysena-28 birth control pills. These pills are being recalled because they include 14 days of placebos instead of just one week. This causes the risk of pregnancy to increase.
Remember to always tell your pharmacist and/or doctor if see any changes in your birth control. These pills normally include one row of white placebo pills and three rows of pink active pills. The recalled pills have two rows of white pills.
It’s always important to pay attention to your birth control and be sure to report any differences you see. There’s a history of women being ignored or seen as irrational for reporting anything in the medical community but you should never worry about that. If you think something is wrong always report it it could help you and others.

 

Alberta Sterialization Act

Thousands of Native people were sterilized as part of “the provinces’ systematic long-term program of forced genetic -and racial purification established by the Alberta Eugenics Board” (Savage). Eugenics was praised in the day of the Alberta Sterilization Act’s creation in 1928, and is the deliberate genetic manipulation of a population as an approach to racial purification.

This is a video by Prof. Gerald B Robertson made in 2012 on the aniversery of the repeal of the sterilization act. He is an academic who studies mental health law ans was an expert witness in Leilani Muir’s court case:

This is a video by Dr. Rob Wilson made in 2012 on the aniversery of the repeal of the sterilization act. He explains the reasons behind the act and the legislation used: