What is male birth control? Learn more about male birth control options, how they work, and what options are best for you today
When discussing birth control, many people think of female contraceptive options like the pill, IUDs, or hormone shots. However, there are several male birth control options that are equally and sometimes more effective.
Read on to find out more about birth control for men, how it works, its benefits, and which options are best for you.
Male Birth Control Options
The type of male birth control option you choose will depend upon your lifestyle and needs. Some male contraceptive methods are permanent, while others focus on barrier prevention, hormonal awareness, and personal choices.
A vasectomy is a type of male birth control option that requires some forethought. It is often a permanent procedure that prevents the sperm from exiting the penis. Some vasectomies are reversible, but this depends greatly on the skill of the surgeon and the specific procedure.
Although it is 99% effective, the surgery takes around three months to be fully effective. Consider using other forms of birth control for men during this time to avoid an unexpected pregnancy. You might also want to consider freezing your sperm before the operation, should you want children in the future.
Condoms provide a barrier around the penis that prevents the sperm from entering the vagina during ejaculation. They are one of the most common types of male birth control, as they are both effective and easily accessible.
When used appropriately, condoms have a 98% success rate in preventing unplanned pregnancy. In addition, condoms help stop the transmission of sexually transmitted infections.
Spermicide is a cream, gel, or foam that is designed to kill the sperm before they can fertilize an egg. It is used by applying a small amount deep inside the vagina. This creates a barrier that slows down the sperm, inhibiting its ability to move past the cervix.
By itself, spermicide is only effective around 79% of the time. However, it can be quite successful when combined with other forms of female or male birth control options.
This form of male birth control is free and effective nearly 100% of the time. It involves giving pleasure to one's partner without the insertion of the penis into the vagina. This could be anything from mutual masturbation to oral sex and the use of sex toys.
The only area of concern for an accidental pregnancy is if sperm gets into the vagina. One form of outercourse is grinding or dry humping. When performed without clothing, it is possible for some of the semen to come in contact with the vagina even without insertion.
This is one of the oldest forms of male birth control in the world. It involves pulling out of the vagina prior to ejaculation.
The only caveat is that it requires precise timing. Pulling out too late results in semen getting inside of the vagina and an increased risk of pregnancy. Withdrawal has a success rate of around 78% and isn't a very reliable way to prevent pregnancy.
This method of birth control for men is even less effective for those who are young and inexperienced, as they are less likely to pull out early enough.
Although fertility tracking is often done by the female, it requires the compliance of both parties to be effective. Keep track of your partner's cycle and avoid intercourse when she is ovulating.
Ovulation is when your partner's chances of getting pregnant are at their highest. It takes place around 14 days before a period. If your partner's menstrual cycle is highly irregular or unpredictable, this method of birth control is less effective.
This is the only method of male birth control that is effective 100% of the time. Not only does it prevent unexpected pregnancy but also the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
Although this is the only foolproof method, it is often impractical in modern relationships.
Is There a Male Birth Control Pill?
New research has been looking into the effectiveness of hormonal pills as a solution to an unplanned pregnancy. Female hormonal birth control prevents pregnancy by disrupting the body's normal hormone cycle and inhibiting ovulation. Male birth control pills work in much the same way.
They stop the production of testosterone in the testicles, which prevents the sperm from maturing. One male birth control pill prototype passed safety trials but has yet to be made available to the public. Other options, including a topical gel, have also been undergoing investigation.
At this time, no male birth control pills have yet to reach shelves. This is in part due to insufficient data on both effectiveness and long-term side effects.
Benefits of Male Birth Control
The most obvious benefit to male birth control is preventing unplanned pregnancy. But the positives don't end there; here are some other great benefits to using male contraceptive options.
Some forms of male birth control, such as condoms, help stop the spread of certain STDs. Keep yourself safe the next time you decide to have sex with someone you don't know by using male contraceptives.
Saves You Money
Having a baby isn't cheap. There are the hospital costs, followed by 18-plus years of expenses from diapers to college tuition fees. Using male birth control is a small price to pay compared to the expenses involved in raising a child.
Birth Control for Men
Birth control options for men can be as simple as putting on a condom to getting a vasectomy. Choosing the right method for you depends upon your stage of life and sexual habits. At the end of the day, using male birth control can help prevent unexpected pregnancies and in some instances help to keep you safe against STDs.