A child is a blessing, but that doesn’t mean that every sexual encounter should result in a pregnancy. Most birth control methods are designed for women, which can be both empowering and a burden.
Having choice gives women options about how they’d like to take control of their sexual outcomes. However, the “fault” of a pregnancy should never be the sole responsibility of one gender.
Though men don’t have nearly as many options as women, there are methods that men aiming to prevent pregnancy should utilize.
This method is non-invasive, inexpensive, and extremely effective, boasting a success rate of 98+ percent.
There are a variety of materials available, including latex, polyurethane, and lambskin. If you’re looking to prevent STDs, make sure you use latex or polyurethane, as lambskin doesn’t provide ample protection against HIV.
Some brands of condoms also have a lubricant or different textures, which can enhance the experience for both partners.
This surgical procedure sterilizes the male by cutting off and sealing the tubes that carry sperm to the testicles. A vasectomy is widely considered the most effective method of male contraception, with only 15 out of 10,000 couples becoming pregnant within one year after the surgery.
Though a vasectomy is the closest thing to a surefire method, it is not a decision to undergo lightly. There is a small chance of complications, and even though the procedure is reversible, the reversal doesn’t always work.
This method of intimacy involves sexual foreplay without penetration. Couples can still enjoy each other with the following methods:
Though it can still be a stimulating experience, outercourse might not be as satisfying for one or both partners. Further, oral and anal sex can still expose people to STDs.
Also called “coitus interruptus” in Latin, the withdrawal method involves the male pulling out before ejaculating.
It is considered the oldest form of birth control, as it requires no tools or technology. It’s also free! However, it is also the least effective. To prevent pregnancy, the male has to pull his penis out of the woman’s vagina before any semen gets expelled. Timing this maneuver can be difficult. Further, pre-ejaculate may also contain trace amounts of semen that can result in a pregnancy.
There’s been ongoing talk of a male birth control pill, but it is not yet commercially available. A male birth control pill would work by blocking the testicles from producing testosterone without affecting the rest of the body.
One of the reasons that this method is still unavailable is that some men still produce enough testosterone to get a woman pregnant, despite the hormonal blockage.
Researchers are also looking into non-hormonal methods like an IVD, which would kill the sperm before it gets injected into the vas deferens.
The Bottom Line: As we continue to make progress in the area of gender equality, it’s imperative that both males and females take responsibility for preventing pregnancy when they’re not ready for a child.
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