The invention of “the Pill” in the 1960s brought forth a new era of women’s liberation. The Pill gave women the power of choice when it comes to getting pregnant and having a baby. But despite the advantages it gave to women, the Pill also posed another burden. It put women in the position of being the primary person responsible for birth control. As such, if an unintended pregnancy occurs, it is the woman who is immediately thought of as at fault.
Forty years later, people are now clamoring for a change in the birth control scene. More people are demanding men to take a more active role in birth control and contraception use. If you are a man who recognizes your responsibility and wishes to take an active role in using contraception, below are some male birth control methods you can consider:
The only birth control method aside from abstinence – that effectively prevents sexually transmitted infections, condoms are the most popular form of male contraception. However, a condom is often relegated to the role of a backup or supplemental contraception since it has a large margin for error. Improper fit or using the wrong lubricant is enough to make condoms slip off, rupture, or tear which can spill semen inside the vagina.
Sperm gels and spermicide-based lubricants are another option when it comes to male contraception. While these are usually effective in killing off sperm after ejaculation, they must be reapplied frequently during intercourse since bodily fluids can dilute their formulation.
A semi-permanent form of male contraception, vasectomy is a surgical procedure that is designed to inhibit the passage of sperm to the vas deferens. Doing so prevents the sperm cells’ exit through the penis and are broken down to be absorbed by the body. Vasectomy is a reversible procedure and is more than 99% effective if done correctly.
Male Hormonal Pills
Studies and research on the development of male hormonal pills are now under way. However, the invention of the male pill is taking a longer time since it is more difficult to control and manipulate millions of sperm compared to one ovum. Different concerns are also raised about the pills’ effect on male sexuality and the reversibility of use. If these studies prove to be successful, men can also have the option of taking in contraception pills.
Of the four methods listed above, condoms are the cheapest and most convenient since they are available almost everywhere. Consistent and correct use of condoms is an effective form of birth control especially if coupled with a sperm gel or spermicide lubricant. Vasectomies are costly, especially if you change your mind later and want to reverse the procedure. However, when compared to its female equivalent, which is tubal occlusion, vasectomy is the cheaper option. Although it is highly unlikely that male oral contraception will be available anytime soon, studies and researches indicate that its efficacy will depend largely on regular and consistent use. Talk to your doctor for a comprehensive discussion of available methods of birth control for men.