Male Contraception: Birth Control Options for Men
There are quite a few birth control options for men. While birth control is an important concern, there are far fewer options for men as compared to women. Over 50 years, there has been very little improvement in providing more options to men. Among men, the most common birth control option is a condom. However, quite a few men also use withdrawal to avoid a pregnancy.
What are the Birth Control Options for Men?
In effect, there are not more than five birth control options men can resort to.
Abstinence as a Birth Control Option for Men
Abstinence can be best described as the behavior that helps in preventing a pregnancy. It also safeguards against sexually transmitted infection. It helps in avoiding pregnancy as it prevents sperm from entering the vagina. If resorted to, abstinence has a 100% success rate in preventing pregnancy. It also safeguards against STDs and is one of the safest options for men as it comes with no side effects.
However, there could be times when men may find it difficult to abstain from sex for a prolonged period of time. You need to firm in your decision to be abstinent. It is a choice one makes on a daily basis.
Condoms as a Birth Control Option for Men
A condom is the most popular birth control option for men. A condom is made from plastic or latex and is worn over the penis during sexual intercourse. It is quite an effective option that prevents pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Condoms, when used properly, can be close to 98% effective in preventing a pregnancy. The best way to ensure it is effective is to have it on from start to finish. Men should ensure that the condom is rolled properly over the penis to prevent genital contact. Using a male with a female condom is not effective.
Outercourse as a Birth Control Option for Men
Outercourse could have different meanings to different people. It could be referred to as any sexual activity that does not include vaginal intercourse. It could also mean sexual activity sans penetration of any kind — oral, vaginal or anal.
It prevents pregnancy as it does not allow sperm to enter the vagina. Outercourse is reportedly 100% effective when used as a birth control measure. However, there are chances of a pregnancy if semen or pre-ejaculate is spilled on the vulva and then enters the vagina.
Outercourse helps in reducing the risk of HIV/AIDS in addition to other sexually transmitted diseases. It should also be noted that outercourse can help women learn to achieve an orgasm. Women have totally different sexual response cycles as opposed to men. Men have mostly one orgasm, and it is after some time when they can have another. Women can have multiple orgasms. Vaginal stimulation does not ensure an orgasm. It is usually when the clitoris is stimulated that women achieve an orgasm.
Some men prefer outercourse as it takes the pressure off to "perform" during intercourse. It allows them to be erotic, while also giving them ample time to learn about their bodies.
There are many ongoing research projects into different methods of male contraception.
Researchers are optimistic that a safe, effective and reversible method of male contraception will eventually become a reality, although this is still several years away.
Vasectomy as a Birth Control Option for Men
Vasectomy is another birth control option for men. It is a permanent solution. When the procedure is performed, a doctor blocks the tubes that contain sperm. When the tubes are blocked, sperm is unable to leave the man's body and thereby prevents pregnancy.
Vasectomy will help keep sperm away from seminal fluid. Sperm is absorbed by the body as opposed to being ejaculated. Without sperm, your "cum" cannot be responsible for a pregnancy. While this option is 100% effective, it does not offer a safeguard against sexually transmitted infection. STIs can be transferred through ejaculate, whether it contains sperm or not. Latex or female condoms can reduce the risk of infection.
There are two ways for a man to be sterilized. One procedure is without an incision and takes less time while the incision method usually takes around 20 minutes. If you want to have children in the future, this option should not be considered in the least.
Withdrawal as a Birth Control Option for Men
The withdrawal method involves pulling out the penis from the vagina before ejaculation. It is also referred to as coitus interrupts or the "pull out" method. Men with great self-control can use the method. However, one should know the exact moment to withdraw. If you are unable to predict the exact moment to withdraw, avoid using the method.
There are experts who are of the opinion that even if the penis is withdrawn on time, pregnancy is still a possibility. Pre-ejaculation can pick up sperm left in the urethra from previous ejaculations, leading to pregnancy. If you happen to urinate between ejaculations, it will help in clearing the urethra of sperm and could make withdrawal an effective birth control option. If you ejaculate prematurely, this option is not viable for you. However, if one can exercise self control, this method does not come with side effects. Also, one does not require a medical prescription to use it. It is also important to note that the withdrawal method will not work as a safeguard against sexually transmitted diseases.
Research for More Birth Control Option for Men
As stated earlier, there are a few options for men as compared to the ones available for women. There have been two important areas of research for male contraception:
- Hormonal contraception – this research includes the use of synthetic hormones to temporarily healthy sperm development.
- Non-hormonal method – This includes the use of other techniques to prevent healthy sperm from entering the vagina.
With advances being made in research, there should be more birth control options men can resort to in the future.