Here’s What Happened When Men Were Challenged to Take “Birth Control” Pills For an Entire Month

If you’re a woman taking birth control pills, you know exactly what it’s like. The acne. The weight gain. The headaches, breast tenderness, and mood swings—and let’s not even talk about the copays, pharmacy waits and everything in between.

Above all, it’s probably the actual act of remembering to take the dang pill that’s the hardest part of all. And while men couldn’t possibly understand the physical symptoms women on birth control go through, they might be able to understand how difficult even the base layer of it can be.

Enter: A very unique challenge. Three men at BuzzFeed decided to volunteer to take “birth control” pills every day for an entire month to see what all the fuss was about. Don’t worry; they weren’t actual pills—just plain old tic tacs. Of course, that’s much easier than having hormones pumping in their bodies, but hey it’s a start.

There were a few ground rules they had to adhere to before getting started:

1. You must pick up birth control at a present time

2. You can only take birth control from the original pack of birth control you were given

3. If you miss a pill, must refrain from any sexual activity the rest of the day or night

4. If you miss a pill, you have to have a mock period for a day (e.g., wear a pad with a “period-like substance in it, since when woman misses her pill, that messes up her cycle)

5. You must present your insurance card to get the pills

In reference to the last rule, the men had fake insurance cards made, that they had to bring to a fake pharmacy in order to get their pills. They were quickly realizing how much time and work it takes to even get a hold of the pills, and they didn’t even start taking them yet.

By day 2, the men were already having issues. One of them left his birth control in his car when he needed to take it, so he had to go out in the dark to get it. Another participant struggled with figuring out when to take it during a flight to a destination where the time zones would be changing.

The third man got emotional thinking about the hormones being pumped into girlfriend’s body that she probably doesn’t want—and he didn’t even have to deal with that.

“I definitely didn’t anticipate how hard it was going to be to take this pill every single day, and it’s really hard to explain why,” the first man said. “If you’re not thinking about it ahead of time, you’re going to be in trouble. So you’ve got to constantly have it on your mind.”

“We haven’t experienced the weight gain, the hormones and all that stuff,” said another. “And I’ve been going through some emotional stuff so I can’t imagine what I would actually feel like if I had extra hormones pumped into my body.”

Towards the end of the challenge, a doctor came in to speak with the men about why male birth control probably won’t even happen, which made the men start thinking about why the onus is just on the female, and not the male.

This challenge truly made the men realize how hard women have it. “You win ladies,” one said. “I apologize for ever doubting you. It sucks.”

So did they all make it through the month-long challenge? Check out the video below to see the outcome!

What do you think about this unique challenge? Do you think men have it easier than women when it comes to things like this?