Majority of birth control options emphasize on women, causing a burden on their health and budget. However, except condoms and vasectomy, there are several options exist which are intended for males to avoid pregnancy.
Why male contraceptives should be considered?
There are few solid reasons why you should not rely upon just women contraceptives:
- Pill may not be effective every time. As your partner may forget to take the pill daily, or she may refuse to take it because of its side effects.
- Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) like IUD, IUS and implants may be troublesome for women and bit expansive.
- Other convenient methods may go faulty.
Researches are going on for the past two decades to develop convenient male contraceptive options that would be available very soon. Some of worth-mentioning options are as follows:
- Contraceptive gel for men
Richard Anderson was a professor and a scientist who developed male contraceptive gel in Manchester England, 2019. The gel was formulated to have synthetic version of hormone progesterone and testosterone.
The gel (NES/T) was tried on 80 men for a year, and was speculated to be more effective than male condoms. However, the conjectured results of gel are still under study.
The progestin present in gel (Nestorone®) stops the production of sperms in the testicles and declines the levels of natural testosterone. While, synthetic testosterone of the gel takes the responsibilities of natural testosterone and perform all its functions.
The usage of this gel is to rub it on shoulders and chest. Hormones present in it would be absorbed through your skin into the blood stream.
- Contraceptive pill for men
Male contraceptive pills have been formulated targeting males for birth control. The male pills contain progesterone, and need an implant having synthetic testosterone to offset the side effects. These pills are still under trials in Unites States and have shown successful results for some extent.
One of such pills is 11-beta-MNDTC which is closer to the contraceptive gel. It also works by stopping sperm production and lowers the hormones responsible for sperm release. However, it also poses some side effects like acne, fatigue, headaches, erection difficulties and decreased sex drive.
- Male contraceptive injection
Male contraceptive injections have also been experimented by the team who invented NES/T. The idea was based on the formulation similar to gel, possessing progesterone to prevent sperm release and synthetic testosterone to balance other unwanted effects.
The results of this injection were remarkable, as only four pregnancies happened in 274 couples with male injections. But regrettably, the experiment went into the pipeline because of the side effects it produced. It was declared by researchers and male participants that side effects are sever and unbearable including acne, headaches, change in sex drive and fatigue.
- RISUG and IVD
Reversible inhibition of sperms under guidance (RISUG) is a non-hormonal method of male birth control. In this method, a non-toxic chemical is injected into the vas deference to prevent the sperm production and also kill the releasing sperms. When, you wish to resume sperm production, another injection is infused to counter the effects of previous chemical.
Another method is intra-vas device (IVD), which is physical plug inserted into the vas deference. It is used to block and filter the sperm release. This is also very effective method and can be easily reversed.
Things to consider
Contraceptive industry has been struggling for decades to develop a method that men could accept as means of birth control. However, the research is still in progress because majority of male fertility control options come with numerous side effects.
Male condoms and vasectomy are not ideal options for birth control and pull-out method is one of the least effective methods. So, the couples are advised to take at least one reliable contraceptive option to avoid unwanted pregnancies.