Yes yes yes to all of this (from a lady who no longer uses birth control for many of the reasons cited in the article).
The statistics on women’s satisfaction with birth control should be enough to make Big Pharma invest in some serious R&D: Virtually every woman in America (99 percent of us) will use some form of contraception in our lifetime. In the United States alone there are 62 million women of childbearing age, 70 percent of whom are sexually active but do not want children. In other words, at least 43 million American women need birth control—and that’s not even counting the men who sleep with them.
We also need better birth control. A 2004 survey found that 20 percent of women were not satisfied with the contraceptive method they were using. On average, women try four different types of contraception during their lifetime. Studies continue to show that even low-dose hormonal contraception exacerbates depression and decreases libido. And last year, a study in the Journal of Family Practice found that only 57 percent of women on the Pill were happy with it.
Fifty years after the invention of the birth-control pill, we are all so busy celebrating our contraceptive options—and defending our access to them—that we tend to forget how few we have. The basic science behind most contraception remains virtually unchanged since the 1950s, when researcher John Rock discovered that a combination of estrogen and progesterone would allow a woman to control her fertility. Sure, scientists have tweaked the hormone levels and delivery methods, but every single one of these innovations is still based on synthetic hormones.
The fact that nearly all birth control is based in the same science will come as no surprise to any woman who has tried to find a non-hormonal contraceptive choice. Her celebrated options are very quickly reduced to using condoms, charting her cycle and abstaining when she’s ovulating, or abstaining altogether. When young women I know have inquired about getting an IUD, a shocking number have been dissuaded by their doctors. (Here’s more on that.) And despite frequent assurances that a male contraceptive pill is “on the horizon” or “in development,” it’s nowhere close. “The joke in the field is: The male pill’s been five to 10 years away for the last 30 years,” Dr. John Amory, a researcher at the University of Washington, told CNN.
Also that: Maybe it’s time for dudes to take some responsibility for the avoiding-pregnancy thing.