Male Birth Control Methods
There are many different types of male birth control methods available to help reduce or eliminate the possibility of pregnancy. To enhance the effectiveness of male birth control methods, using multiple methods is recommended. Other than eliminating all sexual activity, there is a possibility that pregnancy can occur even if the method is being used correctly.
- Abstinence. Refraining from sexual activity is the only 100% full proof method of male birth control. However, you should understand that sexual activity in rare case has led to pregnancy when ejaculation occurs, even if there is no vaginal penetration.
- Vasectomy. A vasectomy is the form of permanent male sterilization. Basically, it inhibits the flow of sperm cells so pregnancy cannot occur. However, there have been a few cases of a vasectomy reversing itself, so it’s important to get your sperm count checked about six months after the vasectomy is performed.
- Male birth control pill. Like the female birth control pill, the male birth control pill utilizes hormones to work as an effective birth control method. This product is not yet available, but may be soon. Other possible hormonal-based birth control methods for men include a shot, patch and skin gel. The hormones within these products ideally drop the sperm count to zero, making it virtually impossible for pregnancy to occur. However, user error can make the male birth control pill and other hormone-based contraceptives less effective.
- Spermicidal lubricant. Spermicidal lubricants are a male birth control method that generally should not be used alone. They are basically spread over the penis prior to insertion to help kill the sperm when ejaculation occurs. Some condoms have a spermicidal lubricant coating on them already, which increases their effectiveness. If you only used the lubricant, the accidental pregnancy rate is over 20%.
- Condom. A male condom is placed over the penis prior to intercourse. Then, when ejaculation occurs, the sperm is contained within the condom, rather than entering the female, making it a fairly reliable birth control method. However, user error and condoms breaking can cause pregnancy. Without another form of birth control, there is over a 10% chance of accidental pregnancy when condoms alone are used.
- Withdrawal. Withdrawing from intercourse before ejaculation occurs is a form of male birth control, but it is not typically recommended. This is because it has a fairly high rate, nearly 20%, of accidental pregnancies resulting from intercourse when it’s used as the only birth control method. If you practice withdrawal, you should also use another form of birth control.