Since time immemorial, women, more than males, have been tasked with the responsibility of preventing unplanned pregnancies. While the ladies are doing a great job at this (through the use of IUDs, female condoms, diaphragms, and daily pills), it is very clear that it is time for a paradigm shift. The burden of preventing pregnancy should not majorly rely on women; at the very least, both sexes should have a 50-50 role to play in this. While men also have their own forms of birth control that they may use to prevent pregnancy, their options are a bit limited. However, this does not dispute the fact that there are male birth control methods.
Birth control simply refers to the use of various methods, such as medications, procedures, devices, and behaviors, to prevent pregnancy. Some of these methods, such as condoms, are easily accessible, while others, such as vasectomies, require seeing a doctor.
Is there birth control for males?
Just as females have IUDs, vaginal rings, diaphragms, oral pills, e.t.c, to prevent pregnancy, there are also many male birth control options.
What is male birth control?
Male birth control, also known as male contraceptives, are methods of preventing pregnancy that solely involve the male physiology.
Men birth control options
The most common methods of birth control for men include the following:
This is a barrier form of contraception that stops sperm from reaching and fertilizing an egg.
A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure that stops sperm from reaching the semen ejaculated from the penis.
3. Abstinence and outercourse
Though not feasible, abstinence is also a method of contraception. It is a choice not to have sex.
Outercourse is other sexual activities besides vaginal sex.
4. The withdrawal method
It is also known as coitus interruptus or "pulling out." It is the practice of withdrawing the penis from the vagina and away from a woman's external genitals before ejaculation to prevent pregnancy.
Other male birth control methods in the works
Here are some more male contraceptive options that are still in development:
5. Birth control pill for men
The male birth control pill, Dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU), is an experimental androgen/anabolic steroid and progestogen medication that is under development as a potential birth control pill for men.
How does a male birth control pill work?
The once-daily pill suppresses two types of male hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, to simultaneously decrease testosterone and sperm production without causing symptoms of low testosterone.
The pill has some mild side effects, such as acne, headaches, mild erectile dysfunction, reduced sex drive, tiredness, and weight gain of 5lbs or less.
Experts are still studying DMAU to find out if it actually suppresses sperm production.
6. Hormonal injections
Male hormonal birth control is primarily based on suppressing sperm production by using an androgen hormone, such as testosterone.
Testosterone can suppress the body's natural formation of sperm, allowing the body to produce semen without sperm or at such a low number (that is, too little sperm to cause fertility) through a process called azoospermia.
However, using testosterone alone as birth control is challenging because testosterone is rapidly excreted from the body when taken orally in pill form.
Injectable testosterone isn't so quickly excreted by the body, which allows it to last longer. However, it may take 3-4 months to take effect.
However, using injectable testosterone could increase testosterone levels overall, which could contribute to liver toxicity in the long term.
7. Topical gels
Topical gels combine progestin and testosterone with reliable rates of azoospermia. The drug is reversible, and its side effects are acceptable.
How effective is male birth control?
According to Planned Parenthood, the following are the efficacy levels of each of the methods discussed above:
- Male condom: 85%
- Withdrawal (pull out) method: 78%
- Abstinence and outercourse: 100%
- Vasectomy: 99%
What happens if a man takes birth control?
According to science.howstuffworks.com, if a man took just one or two female birth control pills, nothing would happen.
However, if a man took female birth control pills regularly over an extended time, his breasts might grow larger, his testicles might shrink, and his sex drive and amount of facial hair might decrease.
The higher levels of estrogen caused by taking female birth control pills also increase the risk of an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer.
As you can see, though male birth control options are limited, they actually exist. Therefore, males should take responsibility and work 50-50 with their partners to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Legit.ng reported that a Nigerian man identified as Ishola Omo Adisa recently gifted his wife a brand new Mercedes vehicle, worth millions of Naira, as a push gift.
The Nigerian man gifted his wife the sweet new ride as appreciation for giving birth to their first child. Talk about double blessings in this home!