Ann Friedman at GOOD asks the critical question :

Fifty years after the invention of the birth-control pill, we are all so busycelebrating 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.

AAARRRRGH. That last paragraph is brutal.