Don’t laugh. It’s a serious issue.
Men are facing an unprecedented health crisis. And it appears to be contagious, spreading rapidly and is far more threatening to life as we know it than Ebola.
Men are getting pregnant.
And giving birth.
Medicare statistics show that the epicentre of this outbreak occurred in New South Wales in the 2012/2013 financial year. A male, aged between 25 and 34, is listed as receiving medical treatment for:
“Management of Labour and delivery by any means (including Caesarean section) including post-partum care for 5 days”
Considering that men don’t have the female anatomy to give birth by the normal process, I think the operative words of this procedure are ‘by any means’. The medical journals still have not defined exactly what this does mean for a man, so don’t expect me to shed any light on this issue here.
In the usual bureaucratic style, the phenomenon of male birth has been reduced to a number and it is 16519 on the Medicare Benefits Schedule, although it is by no means the only one that counts. Item 16515 is for the ‘Management of vaginal delivery’.
And guess what?
Medicare statistics show that men are capable of much more than just delivering a child ‘by any means’. Last year one gave birth the traditional way as well.
At this point one becomes rather embarrassed. Medicare has committed a social faux pas of the worst kind. The associated notes for procedure 16515 are soooooo discriminatory and gender presumptuous. They refer to the patient as ‘her’ or the ‘mother’ on three occasions.
Of course, the big question here is not how or why this has all happened. We all just want to know whether a man can handle the pain. Unfortunately, although the media usually love to cover the sensational, there has been no reporting at all about the fact that men are giving birth in Australia. So this question remains unanswered, but I’m guessing that men can match it in the labour ward as well as any woman.
The good news for the man at the centre of this outbreak of male pregnancy is that Medicare covered at least $520.50 of the $695.95 it cost for his medical care.
It really was a small price to pay to stem the contagion. But it clearly wasn’t enough.
Because in the 2013/2014 financial year the epidemic spread. And it did so widely and rapidly.
Over this period, 16 men gave birth in New South Wales. There were 7 male births in Victoria and another 6 in Queensland. Men also contracted pregnancy in South Australia and Tasmania. Blokes over in Western Australia were hit particularly hard, with 22 requiring medical intervention to manage their labour.
In total, 54 men gave birth by any means in the 2013/2014 financial year. The vast majority were over 24, with one even listed as aged between 55 and 64.
Right across Australia fathers are becoming mothers. In fact, in the last 12 months the number of men becoming pregnant has increased by a whopping 5400 per cent.
By my calculations, if male pregnancies continue growing at this rate, by about September next year there will be more blokes giving birth than sheilas.
This is rather concerning for many reasons, not least of all because the statistics show that father mothers are not looking after themselves. Medicare might list 54 male births in 2012/2013, but it only lists a single ‘six week postnatal attendance’ for a male in the same period. Given the fact that male births are an unprecedented medical anomaly, one would have thought that postnatal care was of paramount importance.
But putting aside the health issues, there are other important questions to answer. For instance, will a father who becomes a mother be entitled to maternity leave? And how does a father become a mother anyway?
I think this is definitely one explanation that does require a diagram, although I’m not sure anyone can actually draw one that is meaningful in any sense of the word.
Of course, these figures don’t take into account the fact that not all male pregnancies result in an actual baby.
About half of them are terminated. It seems that abortion is no longer purely a women’s issue. Men have a legitimate voice too. So to all the alleged ladies out there who keep demanding that men stay out of this, I have three words for you: don’t be sexist.
And you can all stop with your silly chanting about rosaries and ovaries. I’ve got a better one: how dare you assume that men have no womb.
Last financial year there were 44 cases where men underwent a procedure numbered 35643 by Medicare:
“Evacuation of the contents of the gravid uterus by curettage or suction curettage”
For those who don’t know, the Dorland’s Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers defines ‘gravid uterus’ as ‘one containing a developing foetus’. Unfortunately, its definition of uterus as a ‘hollow muscular organ in female mammals’ is way off.
Men have uteruses too, and it’s about time that the anti-discrimination boards across the nation stepped in and demanded changes to all school biology textbooks. They are obviously way out of date and have not been able to keep up with the ‘settled science’, or whatever the term is used these days to mean ‘absolute bunkum’.
Unfortunately, it does seem clear that the words ‘man’, ‘woman’, ‘mother’ and ‘father’ are all so 2012.
Now don’t worry if none of this makes any sense to you. It doesn’t make any sense to anyone. We’ve evolved to the point where words are no longer meaningful or needed. Progress now means that a bunch of monkeys grunting in the jungle actually make more sense than modern users of the English language.
Welcome to the brave new world of 2014.