Male Birth Control Options
As of right now, there are four types of male birth control options available to men: condoms, vasectomy, withdrawal and abstinence. These types of birth control work using various methods with wildly varying degrees of success.
- Condoms. Condoms are a barrier method of birth control and one of the most widely used forms of birth control used. A condom is a thin sheath made up of latex, animal skin or plastic that is designed to fully cover the penis during intercourse. It is used to prevent direct contact between the penis and vagina, thus stopping the transfer of semen into the woman's body. Condoms are easy to obtain and come in a wide variety of styles. They offer the best prevention against sexually transmitted diseases. The failure rate of condoms in preventing pregnancy is between 11 and 14 percent.
- Vasectomy. A vasectomy is the surgical sterilization of a man and the most reliable form of male birth control. This outpatient procedure typically lasts around 30 minutes and involves the tying, cutting and/or burning of the tubes that carry sperm. This stops sperm from being delivered to the vagina during ejaculation. The failure rate of sterilization is less than one percent. Until two semen tests show no sperm present, a backup birth control method is required to prevent pregnancy.
- Withdrawal. Withdrawal is the act of removing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation occurs and is not a reliable form of birth control. The typical failure rate of this birth control method is 25 percent or higher. While some view withdrawal as "better than nothing," it offers almost no protection from pregnancy as the pre-ejaculate contains enough sperm to fertilize an egg.
- Abstinence. The only true way to prevent pregnancy is to abstain from sexual intercourse altogether, which is easier said than done for most people. Some view abstinence as a total lack of contact between genitals while a more strict view means a total lack of contact between genitals, hands or mouths. This means no genital to genital, mouth to genital or hand to genital contact of any kind. While this is the only form of birth control to offer 100 percent protection against pregnancy and STD's, it is also the most difficult to practice. When the heat of the moment takes over, it is very easy to give in to sexual contact.
Posted on: Nov. 07, 2010