Since news broke that the studies into the use of male birth control are being suspended, women around the world have erupted in outrage. Many have claimed the pharmaceuticals industry itself is sexist, stating that women for years have had to suffer from the same side effects that the male participants declared were too much to continue. These include weight gain, low libido, acne, and depression/low mood, to name just a few.

Femalepill side effects

As a woman who had been on the female pill for over 6 years – and having just recently decided to stop taking it – I wholeheartedly agree with the decision to abandon the introduction of a male equivalent.

Firstly, the studies that concerned the female pill did actually flag up these horrible side effects; the women whom it was tested on in the 60’s reported these, but the industry simply chose not to acknowledge them. In short, it should have never really been allowed to be circulated in the first place.

After that, little research was done into the extreme side effects that resulted from taking the pill. In fact, the first study into the connection between depression and the pill was actually only carried out this year. Mental health knowledge/interest has only begun to take off in recent years, meaning that there was little incentive to look into the correlation between women taking the pill, and depression, until now.

What’s more is that we are actually warned of the side effects when we are given the pill. We are told of the weight gain, acne, mood swings, etc. that all come with it. I changed my pill at least three times because of excessive mood swings or headaches associated with it, but not once was I told to actually stop taking it all together.

It’s wrong that our doctors do still prescribe it as a viable method of contraception, especially as most girls start taking it during their teenage years, when your body is already changing so much as it is.

The 'right of passage pills'

The problem doesn’t lie with our so-called ‘weak men’, but with a society that has embedded the pill as almost a right-of-passage for young girls, and will continue to do so.

Condoms – though effective birth control – are usually reserved for one night stands or as a way of preventing STD’s, rather than long-term solutions. Other forms of contraception are complicated and come with their own abundance of side effects, meaning the female pill will remain popular for years to come.

Today though, we do know that controlling the hormones in your body through this method can lead to such extreme effects. For years I myself had wondered if my own depression was fueled by the pill I was taking; indeed, within weeks of stopping it, my depression lifted and my anxiety settled. Yes, women have suffered – and will most likely continue to suffer – from the awful side effects of the pill. But does this really mean we should now subject men to it too?