A critical component of advancing the cause of “Reproductive Autonomy for All” is education. The shortcomings of sexual education are not limited, and are seemingly universally felt with disastrous results. As such, it is incumbent upon all of us to take the steps necessary to fully understand our reproductive biology in order to better inform our family planning objectives and to make the best decisions possible for our individual needs and desires.
Thankfully, there are a plethora of great resources available to help meet our educational interests and needs, including a whole host of books that both inform and inspire us here at MCI. In this post, we share a collection of our favorite books, but please also be sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter as we highlight these and other titles periodically.
GivingTuesday is a movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of each year’s holiday season. It’s a chance to both highlight and support nonprofits and charities dedicated to making the world a better place. We respectfully request that you consider supporting MCI on this holiday of giving by making a tax-free donation.
We believe that all people should have reproductive autonomy, and the access to contraception that works best for their bodies and their lifestyles. Unfortunately, not all people have this. We’re here to talk about a group of people who may not have access to contraceptive products that are safe and reliable in pregnancy prevention. Overweight and obese individuals that are sexually active deserve to have birth control that they can rely on and have access to.
Understanding people’s perspectives around male contraception helps guide our work at MCI. Sharing them is a privilege as well as a mandate: it’s of strategic importance to us to facilitate and broadcast the interest for male methods in an effort to present the undeniable market demand for them. Normally this is done through the lens of our grantees, fellows, research community, or even the general public. But lately, we’ve been endeavoring to share the views of MCI’s staff as well. In that spirit, this is a conversation with our Program & Communications Coordinator Sabey Boswell in which she shares her thoughts about male contraception as well as her interest in working with MCI.
This blog series highlights pertinent publications that were featured in MCI's monthly newsletter editions in the third quarter of 2022. The purpose of this blog is to report interesting or relevant work from MCI Fellows, Grantees, staff members, and other community authors in the field of male contraception.
September is Sexual Health Awareness Month. If your sexual health isn’t something you’ve thought about in a while, then now is a perfect time. We know that it can be hard to talk about these things, as there are a lot of stigmas surrounding sexuality. We’re here to shed some light on sexual health and encourage open conversation. If you want to have a healthier and more fulfilling sex life, this article is for you!
Vasectomy and condoms are the only current options for male contraception. The most popular form of long-acting male contraception is a vasectomy. Unfortunately, vasectomies are not considered truly reversible. Reversal of a vasectomy is often expensive, and requires a long surgery by a specialized provider.
The prostate is part of the male reproductive system. A walnut-sized gland located between the male bladder and the penis, the prostate sits just in front of the rectum. The urethra runs from the bladder to the penis, through the center of the prostate.
MPTs or Multipurpose Prevention Technologies are products created to prevent unintended pregnancy and protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. In order for a product to be labeled as an MPT, it must protect the user from at least two of the following reproductive health risks: HIV, STI transmission, and unintended pregnancy.
How does the law relate to reproductive health, especially male contraception? This is a question I found myself answering in many instances whenever I presented my topic to the lecturer for approval. For once, I thought this would be a unique experience; doing something that has been missing in my field of study and the feeling of being the first to explore the idea was overwhelming. Little did I know that I was getting myself into something that would shape my general perception and career projection.
A contraceptive injection is a long-acting hormonal method that prevents pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation. The injection contains a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone, which is naturally produced in the body by the ovaries. In addition to preventing ovulation, contraceptive injections also trigger a thickening of cervical mucus that suppresses sperm’s ability to move through the uterus. If a sperm is unable to reach and fertilize an egg cell, then pregnancy cannot occur.
The birth control pill, more commonly known as “the Pill”, is a hormonal contraceptive tablet that is taken daily to prevent pregnancy. There are two types of birth control pills, combination pills, and progestin-only pills. Both forms of the pill contain hormones that regulate ovulation to prevent pregnancy.
This blog series highlights pertinent publications that were featured in MCI's monthly newsletter editions in the second quarter of 2022. The purpose of this blog is to report interesting or relevant work from MCI Fellows, Grantees, staff members, and other community authors in the field of male contraception.
Male Contraceptive Initiative’s Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade
Male Contraceptive Initiative’s vision is “Reproductive Autonomy for All.”
We fund and advocate for the development of new non-hormonal, reversible contraceptives for men and sperm-producing individuals. We envision a world in which every child birth is intentional, and occurs only after careful consideration and in line with the family planning desires of those involved. Our work closes the gap in contraception that prevents men from taking an active role in avoiding a pregnancy, but most importantly, alleviates a disproportionate and undue burden for women.
Spermicide is a method of hormone-free contraception that works by preventing sperm cells from fertilizing an egg. Spermicides contain chemicals that damage sperm and prevent pregnancy by obstructing the entrance to the cervix. Once obstructed, sperm are unable to swim through the reproductive tract to reach the egg. Spermicides are on-demand methods that come in many different forms including creams, gels, films, and suppositories.
Shyann Stewart from North Carolina Central University shares reflections on what she learned during her internship with MCI in this blog post.
Unplanned pregnancies account for 45 percent of all pregnancies in the United States. In many of those cases, women were either taking ineffective birth control or not utilizing any birth control at all. Annually, approximately 700 women die in the United States as a result of pregnancy and childbirth complications, making it one of the highest rates in developed nations. Maternal mortality, like infant mortality and life expectancy, is seen as a key measure of a country's health and a bellwether indicator for assessing both human rights and public health.The purpose of this project is to create health promotion materials based on African American women’s perceived risk of maternal mortality, their contraceptive preferences and willingness to use male contraceptive methods.
The growth and development that people experience throughout their lifetime are accompanied by changes in their reproductive system. A person’s reproductive capacity differs between varying life stages. Ordinarily, sperm- and egg-producers become fertile and recognize themselves as reproductive beings during their adolescence or the years that follow puberty. As people continue to age and progress through their reproductive life cycle, natural age-related changes begin to affect everyone’s reproductive function.
MCI Youth Advisory Board member Meghana Reddy was accepted into the Emerging Leaders in Contraceptive Technology Innovation mentoring program, and shares her thoughts about the experience in this blog post.
Contraception is a field in healthcare that has been stigmatized for decades, even to this day. Although it is relevant to every individual’s life, it is something that is not widely talked about compared to other considered “mainstream” healthcare fields. To further raise awareness about the importance of contraception, new programs and innovations must be developed to highlight the opportunities that come from innovative research in family planning and reproduction.
LARC stands for “Long-acting reversible contraceptives”. These are methods of birth control that provide contraception over an extended period without the user having to do anything. They include injections, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and subdermal contraceptive implants, and are the most effective reversible methods of contraception largely due to the fact that their effectiveness is not reliant on patient compliance.
(Image courtesy of the New York Post)
An implant is a long-term contraceptive option that releases hormones to protect users from pregnancies. The birth control implant is a small rod, about the size of a matchstick, that is inserted into the upper arm by a healthcare provider. After insertion, the implant will release the hormone progestin to inhibit pregnancies.
Most people think that a person is either biologically female or biologically male despite their gender identity. This notion is outdated and incorrect. While there is a high prevalence of a biological binary, biological sex is not, in fact, binary. The intersex community is diverse and full of different sex characteristics (e.g., sex chromosomes, gonads, genitalia, hormones, or a combination). These characteristics don't fit into our social binary but exist naturally in biology.
This blog series highlights pertinent publications that were featured in MCI's monthly newsletter editions in the first quarter of 2022. The purpose of this blog is to report interesting or relevant work from MCI Fellows, Grantees, staff members, and other community authors in the field of male contraception.
According to Merriam-Webster, transfeminine people are whose gender identity is partially or fully feminine and differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth; they are are people who were assigned male at birth (AMAB) but identify more with a feminine identity.
Shyann Stewart, our most recent intern from North Carolina Central University, sat down with us to discuss her motivation in joining the team and her interest in male contraception. This blog post shares highlights from that conversation.
What's your academic background?
I am a senior at North Carolina Central University, where I am studying Public Health Education. I wish to graduate from this program with expanded understanding of public health measures and the skills to apply the most effective health promotion initiatives.
Our most recent MCI Youth Advisory Board member Meghana Reddy sat down with us to discuss her motivation in joining the board and her interest in male contraception. This blog post shares highlights from that conversation.
In 2021, I decided that I wanted to start my own company focused on providing non-hormonal contraceptive options for women. Before starting my business, I created my own research protocol, and was able to interview over 50 individuals about the perspectives of contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STI)s, and the stigma surrounding sexual health. Because of the responses I received, I reached out to plenty of contraceptive pioneers, and was able to connect with Heather Vahdat, the Executive Director of Male Contraceptive Initiative (MCI). Through Heather, I was exposed to MCI's Youth Advisory Board (YAB), and decided it was the right fit for my interests and previous experiences. When I was conducting my personal research, I did not meet a lot of individuals that had an immense interest in contraception, until I met the individuals in the YAB. After joining the YAB in February 2021, I was able to learn more about new male birth control methods.