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The Truth About Male Birth Control

Will it ever be as popular as female contraceptives?

BY Mercy Kipchilat

May 05, 2023, 12:46 PM

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Despite the fact that both men and women are equally responsible for pregnancy, women have predominantly been accountable for family planning for decades and they have had to deal with all the extreme side effects that most women’s birth control methods produce.

As conversations about reproductive health continue to evolve, there has been an increasing demand for male birth control options, and with the development of new technologies and research in male birth control, men now have more options to take control of their reproductive health.

Here is a look at everything you need to know about male birth control, including the types of male birth control methods available, their benefits, as well as some of the reasons why your man is reluctant to use them.

What Is Male Birth Control?

Male birth control refers to methods used to prevent pregnancy in men. Unlike female birth control methods, which include a wide range of options, such as hormonal contraception, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and sterilisation procedures, male birth control options are currently limited.

Types Of Male Birth Control.

Male birth control can be categorised into two broad methods - hormonal and non-hormonal methods. Here is how they work:

Hormonal Methods.

Hormonal methods of male birth control involve the use of hormones to suppress sperm production. One promising method under development is hormonal injections. 

These injections are administered every two months and work by blocking the production of luteinizing hormone, which is necessary for the production of sperm.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that hormonal injections were effective in reducing sperm count in 95% of participants.

Non-hormonal Methods.

Non-hormonal methods include devices that physically prevent the release of sperm. One such method is a male contraceptive gel, which is applied to the skin of the abdomen and arms. The gel works by blocking the tubes that carry sperm from the testes to the urethra.

Other popular non-hormonal male birth control methods include male condoms and the withdrawal method.

Benefits Of Male Birth Control.

Some of the benefits of using male birth control methods include the following:

Shared Responsibility.

Most birth control methods available today are designed for women, which may result in an unfair division of responsibilities. 

With the development of male birth control options, both partners can now equally share the responsibility of preventing pregnancy.

Increased Control.

Male birth control options provide men with increased control over their reproductive health. This can be especially beneficial for men who want to delay or avoid parenthood.

Reversible Options.

Unlike sterilisation procedures, many male birth control options are reversible. This means that men can regain their fertility if they decide they want to have children in the future.

Why Haven’t Men Fully Embraced Male Birth Control?

Despite the many benefits that male birth control methods have, many men, including yours, are quite reluctant to embrace them. 

Although, different men have different reasons for not using male birth control methods, some of the common reasons for their reluctance might include:

Cultural And Societal Attitudes Towards Contraception.

In many communities in the country, the use of contraception is still stigmatised, particularly for men. There may be cultural beliefs that equate contraception with promiscuity or emasculation, which can make it difficult for men to openly discuss their reproductive health needs and embrace the use of male contraceptives.

Lack Of Awareness And Education.

Many men may not be aware that options beyond condoms and vasectomy exist, or they may not know how to access them.

Concerns About Potential Side Effects.

Like any medical intervention, there are potential side effects associated with male birth control options. 

Some men may be hesitant to use methods that involve hormonal interventions, such as injections or pills, due to concerns about potential long-term health effects or changes to their libido or sexual function.