March 22, 2017
Andy in Health

Men are Finally Joining the World of Pill and Injection Birth Control

For many years, women have been solely responsible for birth control, especially when it comes to the contraceptive pill. But now there is a growing list of research into how men can join the birth control club in the form of an injection or pill. Excited? So are we.

Knob. The boys. The family jewels. Junk. Package. One eyed monster. Trouser snake. Gear. Manhood. Master of ceremonies.   

While it goes by many names, one thing remains the same: men are sensitive about their “boys”. Just the mention of something unfriendly happening down below will bring on exaggerated faces of pain and the unconditional response to cover themselves. So, it is no surprise, that when it comes to birth control, men are more than a little cautious. 

Many women might claim that men have it easier when it comes to making babies. Men might say that women have it easier because their “parts” are on the inside. Regardless of this ongoing debate, the truth of the matter is that most men are not too involved in birth control. The go to answer is the condom, which also has a whole list of fun nicknames and drawbacks. The other option is a vasectomy. But going under the knife down there, plus some of the social stigma related to it, keep some men from going down that route. Plus, it is pretty much impossible to fully reverse. For many couples, it's therefore up to the woman to go on the pill, get the coil, or the implant to prevent pregnancy—all of which come with a whole host of nasty hormone-induced side effects. 

So, what are men to do? You don’t want a baby, a man doesn’t want surgery, a woman can’t take birth control, condoms are not ideal, so then what? Well, after many years of women being in charge of many aspects of birth control, now men are up to bat. New technologies are giving men increased opportunities to take a more active role in birth control. 

feet under the covers


The Male Pill

Women have been taking the pill since the 60s, but the male pill is still quite a few years away. There have been many experiments targeting hormones, genetic factors, proteins, and other substances, but nothing has been found to be as effective as the female pill. And in many of the studies men dropped out due to mood swings, weight gain, and changes in sex drive. Some women may be laughing at this, knowing full-well that the pill has side effects, but they also know that men, especially when they are not feeling well, can be like giant man babies. So, it seems that the male pill is not going to be an alternative for awhile. And as more and more women are eschewing the use of artificial hormones in female contraceptives due to their negative side effects, it hardly seems fair to expect men to do the same. So, what's the solution?


condoms

Contraceptive Injection

There is another option for men who are thinking about more long-term birth control without all the risks and side effects of a vasectomy: an injectable gel. The procedure takes only a few seconds and inserts a harmless gel into the tube that transports sperm. This gel is extremely dense and does not let the sperm pass through it. However, it's important to mention that it does not stop the ability to ejaculate in the normal way—seminal fluid will continue to be released upon climax, just minus the sperm. In animal studies, the gel was 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. The great thing about this method is that a second injection can easily dissolve the gel, restoring full baby makin’ functions. The gel, called Vasalgel, is still in clinical trials, but will hopefully hit the market in the next few years. 


So, get ready. While nothing is available yet, pretty soon men will have a bigger role in birth control.