In the battle for equality between the sexes, birth control and the options for each sex has been a hot topic for debate. There is the obvious fact that a person can’t become pregnant without having sexual intercourse with the opposite sex. But there is the question of why women have more options when it comes to birth control compared to men. Men have always wanted more options other than condoms.
Women have injectables, IUDs and pills. They have more than enough options, thanks to modern medicine.
Men have to either get cut off down there, use rubbers or pull out early – all of which are not really appealing if you want a full blown, all the way sex.
So the appeal for more research studies and innovations in birth control for men is more or less the same as with women.
The means, men want to avoid having to undergo anything that requires rubber or scissors in order to participate in family planning. With the needs arising come the greatest innovations of our time, and birth control for men is no exception.
With years and years of studies and testing, science is on the verge of applying the long awaited birth control for men to follow the structure of birth control for women. Yes, as enthusiastic as it sounds, it would mean no more withdrawal methods, vasectomy for life and the hassle of putting on a condom just before sex.
You can have sex all you want without the fear at the back of your mind that you will get her pregnant. Here are four medical innovations in birth control for men that may just be the answer to those questions.
The idea of vasectomy horrifies most, if not all, men and women in so many levels. It’s one thing to not want to have a kid right now, but it’s a totally different thing to not being able to produce one by the time you start liking the idea.
Very few medical cases end up in vasectomy, but considering the male population in the entire world, “very few” still means millions.
Vasectomies are meant to be permanent, and the reversal process doesn’t always work. But science has yet to once again prove its seemingly endless potential – meaning beyond the edges of the universe – and will soon introduce a vasectomy-type of contraception for men which is not really vasectomy. At least not until you choose it not to be. How, you ask?
The equation was pretty simple. The demand was high for a male contraceptive method that could be more or less like IUD for women, so great minds brainstormedand came together an innovation that will leave good old condoms eating the dust when it finally hits the market in the future. Do you see where this is going? Anyhow, so great minds came together and invented Vasalgel. Memorize that name because you will be greatly considering that, too.
In 2010, a non-profit organization known to support medical research, Parsemus Foundation, started working on a prototype of a male birth control method in the pattern of a vasectomy but does not have to go through surgery and is totally reversible.
Now, you know that vasectomy is the process of cutting off the vas deferens from the rest of the world so that sperm cannot travel through it and impregnate someone, right? That’s the whole idea of the Vasalgel except for the cutting off the vas deferens from the rest of the world part.
The procedure is fast and simple. Your doctor injects the polymer gel, which is Vasalgel, into your vas deferens and blocks that tube, preventing the sperm from going through. It’s more of a temporary restraint as compared to an actual vasectomy.
If you ever decide to take it off, a separate solution will be injected through the same area and will dissolve the gel in the process, clearing the way. The procedure has been tested on baboons and rabbits and is so far 100 percent effective. That’s promising.
Vasalgel has received a lot of public support and there are thousands of patients waiting in line for clinical trials, but the procedure is still undergoing some finishing touches and final studies before they can finally test it on humans. The only drawback is that there were no studies yet as to when exactly a man will gain fertility again once the gel has been flushed out.
2. Contraceptive Gels
Just like brushing your teeth in the morning, adding another part of your routine before going out would not hurt all that much.
Especially if said addition would mean you can practically have sex anytime, any day without the fear of getting her pregnant. The idea is both enticing and inspiring.
So what if you have some sort of gel that you rub down there and can stall the production of sperm without really causing any real damage like ejaculation issues or loss of libido? You say, “Oh yes,” and buy yourself a dozen. Sperm production is a constant and natural process in your body. You can’t stop it or prevent it, but you can slow it down. That’s not harming your body in any way because you’re still producing and the normal functions are still happening.
One type of male birth control that is being tested right now is a contraceptive gel that does exactly just that. The gel-based hormonal contraception made for men contains progestin and testosterone, which when combined, can inhibit the production of sperm without causing negative side effects like muscle mass, ejaculation problems and libido loss.
What’s more promising is the ability to regain fertility once you stop using it. Researchers are still in the process of testing the product and it has yet to be delivered to and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
It may sound futuristic and robot-like, but the studies and tests are being done for male implants and incorporating them in birth control methods. In fact, it is already happening with women.
A good example is Nexplanon – a small plastic rod inserted into the female upper arm. It acts by releasing progestin, a hormone that can prevent ovulation and is 99.9 percent effective in the world of birth control. It can last up to three years, too.
No surprise here, male birth control implants are already under way,and undergoing studies and development. A non-profit organization that conducts research on public and biomedical health, The Population Council, are working on an implant for men that can last up to one year.
Christened as MENT, this small device works by releasing a testosterone-like steroid that affects the development of sperm cells. Though testing hasshow minimal side effects, it promises no issues in terms of libido, muscle mass and bone density. The product is still undergoing research and further studies have to be done.
4. Contraceptive Pills
Ah, the proverbial pill. How women just pop one every day and not worry a thing about getting accidentally impregnated has always left men wondering if they would ever have such a privilege.
Well, great news gentlemen. You’re in luck, because studies for a male birth control pill are ongoing for not just one type, but two types of male birth control pills.
One type is called Gamendazole. Initially an anti-cancer drug, scientists discovered its side effect of blocking the production of sperm cells. Scientists worked further on this potential and came up with a drug that has the capacity to still ejaculate normally, yet totally disabling the sperm cells on the process. The effect is reversible after 10 weeks of stopping the use of the drug. It has been tested on non-human primates, like rabbits and has worked 100 percent.
Another type is the “Clean Sheets Pill” which again stemmed from another drug, one that treats blood pressure and schizophrenia. It works by relaxing the muscles in the vas deferens into a lengthwise position which can still allow an orgasm but stops the release of semen. The best thing about this type of pill is that you don’t have to take it every day. You can just pop one right before sex.
Of course, the male birth control pill, like every other contraceptive innovation here,
are still young and lacks further studies and testings,which means you might not yet see it in the market for another five to 10 years. But potential customers are already standing in line for it.
Men sleep around. That’s a reality of today as it was yesteryear that prompted the need for a birth control that will not have men asking themselves, “Did I put one on” or “Did it break,” as with condoms, or “What if I want a baby someday” or “Can it be reversed,” as with vasectomy.
These new ways of contraception for men can be convenient for men, making the usage of birth control more common, which will result in fewer unwanted pregnancies. By making it easier, young men will be more willing to try it, too, saving many teen pregnancies, which disrupt lives.
For men in relationships, it’s not that you don’t want her to get pregnant. It’s just not now. Maybe someday when you’re both ready, you can finally go all the way. But in the mean time, keep it all casual. Worry less about the pregnancy and focus more on the sex.