The Latest Male Birth Control Trends: Hip or Hype?

 

Tremendous progress is being made on the latest male birth control options. We have discussed major contraception techniques of the modern world that you must know. We have discussed all the latest male birth control methods with their benefits and side effects to help you choose the best method easily.

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In 2011, about 45% of the 6.1 million pregnancies reported in the US were unintended. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 27% of these pregnancies were wanted later, while 18% were unwanted. 42% of these unintended pregnancies ended in abortion, while 58% were live births.

There have been efforts to find better and safer birth control methods to lower the number of unintended pregnancies. And to be honest, it is high time women bore less burden in terms of birth control, hence the concerted drive for male birth control measures. Now, are these methods working, or are they a ploy to con women into believing that men also play a part in preventing unwanted pregnancies?

Before you can determine whether the male birth control is HIP or HYPE, understand the characteristics of an ideal contraceptive.

Characteristics of Male Contraceptives

  • It should be readily available for everyone
  • It must be easy to use
  • It must not have any short or long-term side effects
  • Must be acceptable to both partners
  • Should not interfere with your sex drive and libido
  • Must have rapid and immediate effects that should be easily reversible
  • This piece covers the process, benefits of male birth control, the risks, and possible side effects.

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1. Surgical Methods

These are male birth control techniques that require minor surgical procedures to execute.

  • Vasectomy (The Little Snip)

According to the Urology Care Foundation, more than 500,000 men in the US choose a vasectomy procedure for birth control. So, what is a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure that removes a piece of the Vas Deferens. Hence, it blocks sperms from reaching the semen ejaculated from the penis. A vasectomy has only recorded failure in 1 or 2 men out of 1,000. Therefore, it is presumed to be better than any other method of male birth control.

Procedure

  • Using local anesthesia, numb the scrotum
  • Make two small incisions in the scrotum
  • Remove a small piece of the Vas Deferens
  • Seal one end by suturing, clamping, or cauterizing

Benefits 

Men enjoy many benefits from this minor procedure.

1. It Is the Most Effective Male Birth Control Method

Once there is an interruption in the flow of sperms, the sperm count in the semen drops to zero. With this level, there are meager chances, about 0.2%, of impregnating a woman.

2. Does Not Affect Your Sex Life

Contrary to popular myths of Vasectomy affecting your sex life, there is no difference before and after the procedure. You still enjoy all the sexual pleasure as everything else remains the same.

3. It Has Lower Health Risks

A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure with low health complications. Since it is a less invasive surgery, the chances of bleeding or having an infection are low.

4. Vasectomy Is Reversible

If you change your mind about having children, you can easily reverse a vasectomy and still be potent. If you are looking for a male birth control technique with a failure rate lower than 1%, then you should go for the little snip.

birth control
Side Effects of Vasectomy

Benefits of Vasectomy to Women

Women often face the burden of birth control alone. And this takes a toll on their bodies, emotions, and mental health. However, with Vasectomy proving to be a successful male birth control method, women can get a small break. Some of the benefits they rip from Vasectomy include:

1. They Can Lose The Hormonal Birth Control

Hormonal birth control pills are a health risk to women. Besides that, they cause extreme mood changes. So, if the man can help prevent unwanted pregnancies, the woman can lose the pill.

2. No More Tubular Ligation

Compared to Vasectomy, a tubular ligation takes longer to heal and has a higher risk of complications. It is also a rather intrusive and considerably painful procedure for women.

3. Lowers The Chances Of Ectopic Pregnancies

Undergoing a tubular ligation poses the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. However, with an alternative birth control method, women can forego the ligation, thus preventing ectopic pregnancies.

Health Risks Of Vasectomy

You might experience a little discomfort after a vasectomy. In case you feel pain, mild pain meds should effectively remedy the situation. Generally, Vasectomy is a low-risk surgical procedure. However, a benign lump (granuloma) could develop when sperms leak from the cut end of the Vas Deferens to the scrotal tissue. And although it may be painful and sensitive, it is not harmful and subsides with time.

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Other Side Effects 

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Blood in the semen
  • Infection
  • Bruising of the scrotum
  • Clotting inside the scrotum

Other Delayed Complications 

  • Pregnancy, although very rare
  • Fluid build-up in the testicles
  • Chronic pain
  • Dementia
  • Abnormal cyst formation
  • Swelling in the scrotum due to hydrocele (A fluid-filled sac surrounding the testicles)
  • Psychological effects

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Vasectomy?

Depending on whether you have an insurance cover or not, a vasectomy could cost $0 to $1000. Many countries bear the cost of Vasectomy as it is an effective method of permanent birth control, which helps with population control.

HIP or HYPE?

Based on the information discussed above, you can see that Vasectomy is effective, reliable, and reversible. It is a win for anyone who chooses to try it, so it is definitely a HIP.

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  • Keyhole Vasectomy (No-scalpel Vasectomy)

This minimally invasive vasectomy procedure uses a sharp tool to puncture the scrotum. Through this ‘keyhole,’ the urologist accesses and removes a section of the vas deferens, and the puncture is joined back.

Benefits of Keyhole Vasectomy

The benefits of this procedure include:

  • High effectiveness
  • The lower risks of bleeding and infection
  • The recovery time is short
  • Compared to the standard vasectomy procedure, keyhole vasectomy takes less time to complete and is less painful
  • The procedure does not affect your sexual life
  • It is safer than the long term birth control methods

Risks 

Some of the risks associated with the keyhole vasectomy include:

  • Hematoma formation-lumps in the testicles
  • Long-term and uncontrollable pain in the testes
  • Trouble urinating
  • May result in contraceptive failures
  • You may have secretions from the scrotum

Which is Better, No-scalpel Vasectomy or Conventional Vasectomy?

The only difference between these two procedures is the way physicians access the Vas deferens. And since the no-scalpel Vasectomy is quicker and requires minimal invasion, it can be better than the conventional Vasectomy.

Is Keyhole Vasectomy Reversible?

During this procedure, the urologist removes a section of the Vas deferens. So, if you want to reverse it, you can have the remaining sections of the Vas deferens rejoined.

Cost 

Like the conventional Vasectomy, you might part with $1000 if you have no medical insurance cover. However, this cost could drop to $0 when insured.

birth control
Benefits of Vasectomy for Women

HIP or HYPE?

After going through all the benefits accrued to the keyhole vasectomy, you can conclude with certainty that no-scalpel Vasectomy is a HIP. You can easily avoid the harmful side effects of long-term contraceptive methods using this procedure.

 

2. Barrier Methods

  • Condoms

Wearing a condom during sexual intercourse protects your partner from unwanted pregnancy. The condom blocks the semen from entering the vagina. For this reason, condoms are the only form of birth control that protects sex partners from sexually transmitted infections, STIs, such as HIV.

With an average cost of $1, condoms are readily available in convenience stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies. You can even get one for free from most hospitals and health clinics.

Types of Condoms

Following are some of the types of condoms.

1. Natural/Lambskin Condoms

These condoms are made from a lamb’s intestines. Like the human skin, they have pores that render them not ideal for protection against unwanted pregnancies and STDs.

2. Latex Condoms

Latex is the same material used to make surgical gloves. So, it is safe to use. Latex condoms are effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies and STIs. However, if you are allergic to latex, you can find another type of condom to use.

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3. Plastic Condoms

These polyurethane condoms are thinner and stronger. And since they are not as tight as their latex counterparts, they are considered better. Their loose feel increases sensitivity, hence a better sexual experience.

4. Lubricated Condoms

Some condoms come with a lubrication layer that keeps the condom from breaking while preventing pain and irritation during sex. And if yours does not have this layer, you can add some lube for a better sex experience. However, DO NOT use any oil-based lubricants, as they damage the condom, nullifying their purpose.

5. Spermicide Condom

A layer of spermicide coats the condom and kills the sperms to lower the chances of pregnancy. However, certain spermicides, such as nonoxynol-9, may irritate your genitals. Instead, you can use condoms with octoxynol-9 for a better sexual experience.

6. Textured condoms

These condoms have ribs and studs included on them. These additional features boost pleasure from sexual intercourse.

7. Glow in the dark

These novelty condoms do not have the approval of the FDA. Also, they do not protect from pregnancies and STIs. So, before you buy a pack, make sure you read the package to ensure the condom provides the protection you need.

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8. Flavored condoms

Oral sex is often a possible means of transmitting STDs. That is why you need to wear condoms, even then. Flavored condoms improve the oral sex experience by adding exciting flavors to the mix.

NB: Flavored condoms are not for vaginal sex use. The sugars in the flavor could lead to pH imbalances and yeast infections in the vagina.

How Do You Wear a Condom?

Although the exercise is a simple process, practicing a few times before the sexual intercourse could create familiarity. So, how do you wear a condom?

  • Ensure you are wearing the condom on an erect penis
  • Remove any bubbles by pinching the teat towards the end
  • Leave enough room to hold the semen
  • If you fail the first time, remove the condom and try again using a new one. This is because the pre-cum produced before ejaculation could leak.

How Do You Remove a Condom?

After sexual intercourse, hold the condom at the base of the penis and withdraw it. Make sure you do so while still erect for easier removal.

What are the benefits of using a condom?

  • Condoms are easy to use
  • They are readily available
  • Condoms are the only male birth control methods that protect against both unwanted pregnancies and STIs.

The Do’s and Don’ts when using a condom

Using a condom for birth control is only useful when done correctly. And for this, there are some significant measures you can take to ensure success.

Do’s
  • Wear the condom correctly before sex
  • Always read the package
  • Check the expiration date
  • Store the condom in a cool and dry place
  • Always double-check for defects and tears
  • Use water-based lubricants
Don’ts
  • Never use oil-based lubricants as they cause breakage
  • Avoid spermicides as they lead to irritation
  • Never wear a broken or damaged condom
  • Never reuse a condom
  • Using two or more condoms only makes the sexual experience uncomfortable and increases the chances of the condom breaking or slipping.

Do Condoms Always Work?

Condoms, when properly used, are only 98% effective. That means only 2 out of 100 women are likely to get pregnant when using a condom.

Birth control
Do’s and Don’ts of Condoms

How Do You Handle a Condom Breakage?

Condom breakage is rare but not impossible. When this happens, you can do the following:

  • Withdraw your penis immediately
  • Wash the external part of your genitals to remove any body fluids
  • For women, pee immediately to wash away any semen in the cervix
  • Also, get your emergency contraceptives to prevent pregnancies

HIP or HYPE?

Condoms are the only contraceptive technique that protects against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.  So, they are a definite HIP. However, condoms, on their own, are not 100% effective. You should use a contraceptive pill or consult your doctor for advice.

  • Periodic Abstinence

Theoretically, this is an effective birth control method where sex is limited to ‘safe’ days. However, breaking the rules increases the chances of pregnancy steeply.

Benefits of Periodic Abstinence

  • It is device-free, hence cheap
  • It is a cost-free method
  • It improves awareness of your sexual activities

Risks 

  • This method is not feasible
  • You might end up losing affection
  • It is unreliable
  • It is not flexible
  • Could result in sexual frustration as it interferes with the spontaneity of sex
  • It is not an acceptable birth control technique for everyone

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Periodic Abstinence- HIP or HYPE?

This method only works in books, where it is reliable and safe. However, in real life, it is more of a HYPE.

  • Withdrawal Contraception (Coitus Interruptus)

This male birth control technique involves pulling out the penis from the vagina right before ejaculation to prevent pregnancy.

The coitus interruptus requires high self-control. It is also not as useful since one second is too late, and it increases the chances of pregnancy exponentially. Also, the pre-cum before ejaculation could result in pregnancy, making this method unreliable and ineffective.

Why Withdrawal?

Many people choose this method of birth control because:

  • It is free
  • It is readily available
  • Has no side-effects
  • Requires no prescription
  • And it is also suitable when no other forms of contraception are available
  • When timed correctly, withdrawal has a failure rate of about 4%

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Are There Any Risks to Using Withdrawal?

The risks of withdrawal include:

  • Unwanted pregnancies
  • Contraction of STIs
  • It disrupts sexual pleasure

Also, this technique requires exercise and patients to perfect. However, you can improve this method’s effectiveness by using a condom to prevent STIs and other birth control methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Tracking the ovulation process can also help improve the effectiveness of coitus interruptus.

Withdrawal- HIP or HYPE?

Although it may seem like a potential solution with proper timing, withdrawal ends up failing most of the time. For this reason, it is HYPE.

 

3. Vas-occlusive Contraception

Vas-occlusion is a new approach to male birth control that blocks the sperms from reaching the Vas deferens instead of pills and patches. These methods are viable alternatives to Vasectomy.

birth control
Advantages of Semen Valve Implants

The method of action of the Vas-occlusive methods involves the injection of a polymer into the vas deferens. This polymer allows fluid to flow through it while blocking sperms.

Different Vas-occlusion techniques include:

  • Implantable Semen Valve

The implantable semen valve adjusts the flow of semen through the vas deferens. Two implants, one on each vas deferens, are vital for this method to work. The simple switching device is an on/off valve that allows and inhibits the flow of sperms through the tube.

During an implant, a urologist transects the vas deferens and fixes each end to a tube connecting to the valve. And to open or close the valve, you close or open the switch palpated through the scrotum. Once it obstructs the flow of sperm to combine with the semen, it redirects it to the scrotal tissue. Theoretically, the sperm metabolizes and is harmlessly absorbed by the body.

The implantable semen valve is estimated to cost about $5.460 once it hits the market.

Advantages 

  • They are easy to use- switching on and off
  • Harmless absorption of semen
  • A viable solution to temporary contraception
  • It is a reversible male birth control technique

Risks 

  • They do not protect from STIs
  • Scar tissue could develop around the device, potentially constricting the vas deferens and lead to infertility
  • Clogging could lead to unintended blockage of sperms. Therefore, you need to pay regular visits to your urologist for a tube cleaning procedure
  • All the risks associated with microsurgeries are imminent in this case

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HIP or HYPE?

If clinical trials are successful, the semen valve implant could be the much-awaited alternative to Vasectomy. So, HIP?

  • Intravasal Copper Wire

An alternative method of male birth control that is non-obstructive, non-hormonal, and preferably reversible would be highly appreciated. The intravasal copper wire involves the insertion of a piece of copper wire in the vas deferens. The copper wire leads to the accumulation of the sperms in the epididymis, which then initiates a chemical reaction.

This reaction involves increased production of the serum anti-sperm antibodies, which kill the sperm in the semen. And with this low sperm count in the semen, the chances of pregnancy decrease. The non-occlusive technique uses a copper wire. When the spermatozoa come into contact with the wire, a toxic reaction occurs, hindering the sperms.

When performed on a rhesus monkey, the study showed a 52% increase in dead sperms and a 30% decrease in motile sperms. The intravasal copper wire also lowers fertility, and consequently, unwanted pregnancies.

Benefits 

  • No surgical procedure is required
  • It is effective
  • It is a reversible contraception method

Drawbacks 

  • Insufficient data to draw any conclusions
  • Sperm granuloma are likely to form, reducing the effectiveness of the device
  • The biggest flaw is the corrosion of the copper wire, which could end up in blood poisoning

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Reversibility of the Intravasal Copper Wire Contraception

Studies conducted on the rhesus monkey showed that the reversibility of the contraception effect is possible. Scientists noted that the sperm count and mobility increased about a year after the post-treatment. Removing the copper wire from the vas deferens reverses the effects of this male birth control technique.

HIP or HYPE?

When clinical trials are successful, the intravasal copper wire contraception method promises non-invasive, complete sterility, and precise reversibility. And these are the features that make it an absolute HIP for male contraception.

  • Intravasal Electric Device

More research is underway to minimize the problems associated with Vasectomy. And one possible solution could be the intravasal electric device, which aims at achieving better occlusion. The intravasal electric device technique works using a copper wire, which kills the spermatozoa using an electric current.

The ions released from the copper wire are absorbed by the spermatozoa, killing them. However, this reaction only happens on the wire’s surface, which means that a lot more sperms live. Besides, more emissions from the copper wire mean more erosion, which poses the most significant drawback of this technique.

Potential Benefits of the Device

  • No surgery
  • It is safe to use
  • It has reversible effects- removing the copper wire and the source of current reverse the effects

Potential Risks 

  • The eroding copper could result in recurring infections
  • A sustainable miniature battery is impractical
  • There is not enough information to make a definite conclusion

How Can You Reverse the Effects?

The device works using a copper wire in the vas deferens and a current source. Therefore, by disconnecting the shorting link, the spermatozoa maintain their structure.

Contraception Methods and Family Planning
Types of Contraceptives

HIP or HYPE

For this method to work, you need a sufficiently large and steady source of current to alter the spermatozoa morphology. However, this is impractical with the miniature batteries, rendering this technique a HYPE.

  • Intra-Vasal Thread (IVT)

This male birth control technique involves placing a surgical thread in the vas deferens to provide physical obstruction of sperm. Removing the thread restores the patency in the vas deferens. Different studies on different animals showed different results. For instance, pigs showed no significant sperm count effect, while the same IVT consistently blocked sperm flow in dogs.

In humans, trials show that the urethane-coated surgical threat reduced the sperm count, but not necessarily to zero. And compared to Vasectomy, the intravasal thread has a long way to go.

Advantages of IVT

  • Reduced sperm motility
  • Slightly reduced sperm count
  • Inhibited sperm passing
  • It has reversible effects

Drawbacks of IVT

  • There are not enough studies to back the functionality of the intravasal thread. Therefore, its future as a male contraception option is yet to be precise.

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So, Is the Intravasal Thread a Hip or Hype?

Until you find more research showing better statistics on how the IVT works, it remains to be HYPE. However, this perspective could change with more research.

  • Chemo Sterilization

Chemo-sterilization involves the injection of non-toxic chemicals and sclerotic into the vas deferens to obstruct sperm transportation.

These chemicals scar the vas deferens in an attempt to achieve sterilization. However, the tissue created during scarring is not always compact, resulting in the 4% failure rate of the chemo-sterilization male birth control technique.

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What Are the Best Chemicals to Use?

Carbolic and N-butyl Alpha Cyanoacrylate- this chemical composition results in a complete blockage of the vas deferens. Even after eight years following the injection, the chemical had an impressive 96% azoospermia and 99% pregnancy prevention rate.

Ethanol and Formaldehyde- This injection resulted in sterility in humans.

Is Chemo-Sterilization Reversible?

You do not want to try this contraception method if you are unsure about your future and need kids. This is because the technique results in scarring of the vas deferens, which is an irreversible process. You only have a 4% chance of ever reversing the effects when the chemicals fail.

HIP or HYPE?

The correct combination of chemicals could result in complete sterility in humans. And the 4% fail rate makes this male birth control technique a HIP.

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  • Vas-Occlusive Plugs

There are two types of vas-occlusive plugs:

1. The Injectable Plugs

Medical polyurethane (MPU) is injected into the vas deferens, where it forms a plug. The MPU results in 96% azoospermia. However, the plugs go into full effect two years after injection. The removal of the plug within five years promises to restore fertility in men.

2. Non-Injectable Plugs

A surgical operation is necessary for the insertion of these plugs. Therefore, the removal is also through a surgical procedure. An example of the non-injectable plug is the Silicon Plug, otherwise known as the Shug. It consists of two plugs attached to the walls of the vas deferens. From human trials, Shug showed a 97% decrease in sperm mobility. Although the plugs are a promising alternative to Vasectomy, they have a lower efficacy rate.

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So, Are The Plugs a HIP or HYPE?

Due to a lack of information to support their effectiveness, you can consider the vas occlusive plugs to be HYPE. Also, they have lower efficacy and are no better than a vasectomy.

  • Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance (RISUG)

You can tell from the name that this male birth control is already a promising alternative to Vasectomy. RISUG involves the injection of a non-toxic, polymer gel-based contraceptive on the walls of the vas deferens. The RISUG polymer constitutes of styrene-maleic anhydride (SMA) dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide. These two chemicals work together to:

  • Occlude the vas deferens by coating the inner walls
  • De-activating the sperm that could pass through the obstruction

The mechanism through which this technique inactivates the sperm remains unknown. However, the obstruction in the vas deferens blocks sperm while allowing fluid to pass through. This way, there is no pressure build-up, which is a common drawback in the chemo-sterilization techniques.

HIP or HYPE?

RISUG is currently in the third phase of clinical trials, making it clear that it is a definite HIP.

  •  Vasalgel

Parsemus Foundation got inspiration from RISUG to create Vasalgel. Although it is under development, experts aim at providing a long-acting, non-hormonal male contraceptive. The idea is to avail male birth control with a significant advantage over Vasectomy.

The procedure is similar to the no-scalpel Vasectomy, where a sharp tool makes an incision in the vas deferens. However, rather than cutting part of the tube as in Vasectomy, a gel is injected into the vas deferens.

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Are the Effects of the Vasalgel Reversible?

If a man wishes to remove the blockage, the polymer could be dissolved and flushed out.

What is the Chemical Composition of the Vasalgel?

The Vasalgel consists of 25% styrene-alt-maleic acid (SMA) dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide, making its composition almost similar to the RISUG. The only difference between the two is the absence of the SMA anhydride in the Vasalgel.

This chemical composition allows for a longer shelf-life and a more straightforward production process. Also, it prevents the hydrolysis of the polymer, which makes Vasalgel achieve high azoospermia. Results showed 36 days after injection and full restoration of the vas deferens patency after flushing in rabbits.

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Advantages of Vasalgel

  • It is safe
  • It has long-lasting effects
  • It is a reversible male contraceptive
  • No surgery required
  • It is a reliable, cost-effective, and non-hormonal contraceptive
  • It does not stop ejaculation
  • It blocks and filters out the sperm
  • The Vasalgel has fewer side effects than Vasectomy

Drawbacks of Vasalgel

  • Rare chronic testicular discomfort could occur
  • Post-operative pain and rare infections
  • Takes longer to reduce the sperm count compared to Vasectomy

How Much is Vasalgel Expected to Cost?

Once released into the market, Vasalgel would go for only $10, which is cheaper than a vasectomy.

Vasalgel-HYPE or HIP?

Vasalgel has the potential to be the next revolutionary contraceptive method. It is not a HYPE, but rather a clear HIP.

 

4. Pharmaceuticals Based Contraception

There are two main types of male birth control (Pharmaceutical) techniques.

  • Male Birth Control Pill

Dimethandrolone Undecanoate (DMAU) is an upcoming male birth control pill that targets hormones in men. It suppresses the production of the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and the luteinizing hormone (LH).

LH stimulates the production of testosterone in the Leydig cells, while FSH stimulates testicular growth. It also enhances the production of androgen-binding protein in the Sertoli cells. These proteins play an essential role in sustaining the maturity of the sperm cells.

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Benefits 

  • It is safe and easy to use
  • The effects induced are reversible
  • No complex procedure required

Side Effects 

Hip or Hype?

According to Stephanie Page, MD, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the University of Washington, many men show a daily pill preference compared to the long-term injections and gels. And although it is still in the clinical trial, the male birth control pill is a reversible contraceptive proving to work wonders. Therefore, you can consider it a definite HIP.

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  • Dry Orgasm Pill

This dry orgasm pill induces retrograde ejaculation, meaning that the sperm flows to the bladder rather than out of the penis during an orgasm. The dry orgasm pill maintains sexual pleasure, with little or no semen in the ejaculation.

Benefits 

  • It is safe
  • Boosts testosterone levels

Risks 

  • Male infertility
  • Less pleasurable orgasm
  • Higher risk of diabetes
  • Requires bladder surgery
  • May cause STIs and does not offer protection against them either

Side Effects of the Male Birth Control Pill

With modern medicine taking an interest in male birth control, there have been many options available for men. Most of them are more effective, reliable, and a lot less risky than the dry orgasm pill. Therefore, you can consider it to be just HYPE.

 

5. Steroidal Contraception

  • Male Androgen

Androgens are a group of hormones responsible for male traits and reproduction. These hormones can act as reversible contraceptives, as they affect the process of sperm production.

This hormone’s production can be altered through extensive research to stop or increase the production of sperms. And male androgens, especially testosterone, are under research for use as contraceptives. In men, testosterone is responsible for sperm production, sex drive, and erections.

According to Salynn Boyles of WebMD, monthly injections of a testosterone-based contraceptive proved to be 99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Benefits 

  • They are a reversible approach to male contraception
  • A great alternative to Vasectomy
  • Effectively suppresses gonadotropin production
  • Efficacious
  • A good alternative for couples who are uncomfortable with other male birth control techniques

Drawbacks

  • Loss of sex drive
  • Could result in acne, weight gain, and night sweats
  • It takes a longer time to work
  • Does not suppress spermatogenesis completely
  • Population difference show different suppression extents in sperm production
  • Long-term effects may take years to assess

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Male Androgen-HIP or HYPE?

Many are looking for safe and effective contraception for the intended population. And male androgens show promise in delivering that. But, it could take several years before the results are conclusive. For now, you can consider these male androgen contraceptives to be HIP.

 

6. Non-hormonal Contraception

  • Clean Sheets Pill

This fast-acting male birth control pill is still in the early stages of development. It draws its name from how it works. The pill is speculated to make a man orgasm without ejaculation. Therefore, it reduces the risks of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. From research, after taking 2-3 pills, its effects kick in 16-24 hours later.

  • Gendarussa

If used accurately, this non-hormonal birth control pill can be 99% effective. The Gendarussa interferes with the enzyme found in sperms, which weakens their ability to penetrate an egg. Due to limited information on Gendarussa’s production and trials, it is almost impossible to predict this male contraceptive’s future.

  • Gel Injection

The process involves the injection of a gel into the vas deferens, where it blocks the passage of sperms into the semen. Gel-injections are one of the great non-hormonal contraception methods that work like a no-scalpel vasectomy.

Benefits 

  • It kills the sperms
  • Reversible sperm inhibition
  • Use of non-toxic chemicals
  • Some are fast-acting

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Drawback

Lack of in-depth research is the main drawback when it comes to non-hormonal contraception. Also, the lack of information makes it hard to determine the long-term effects.

Non-hormonal Contraception-HIP or HYPE?

Non-hormonal contraception methods have no harmful effects; at least, they are yet to be known. Also, they show promising results, which makes them a HIP.

 

7. Plant-based Contraceptives

These plant-based contraceptives show anti-fertility effects, hence the consideration.

  • Abrus Precatorius Linn (Fabaceae)

This plant has the potential to lower sperm motility to a considerable extent. Also, they have the potential to change sperm morphology. When used on rats, scientists observed the following effect:

  • Dose-dependent testicular degeneration
  • Sperm decapitation
  • Acrosome damage
  • Testicular lesions
  • Reversible suppression of sperm motility
male birth control
Plant-Based Contraceptives
  • Agave Cantala (Bombay aloe)

This evergreen succulent possesses spermicidal properties against human sperm. Therefore, it can be a potential herbal male contraceptive.

  • Acacia auriculiformis A. Cunn ex. Benth (Black Acacia)

The Black Acacia has sperm immobilizing effects. They also cause plasma membrane disintegration, hence their ability to dissolve the sperm’s acrosomal cap. This way, they render the sperms ineffective and impossible to fertilize an egg.

  • Aegle marmelos Linn (Golden apple)

When administered to rats, the Golden Apple resulted in a decreased sperm count, lower motility, and reduced RNA and protein content. All these actions incapacitate the sperms, making it impossible for them to penetrate the egg. Get effective treatment by clicking the button below!

  • Aeschynomene Indica Linn (Kat sola)

This slender and shrubby plant is known for killing spermatozoa, both in rats and humans.

Other Herbal Contraceptives

  • Allium sativum Linn (Garlic)
  • Anethum Sowa Roxb (Indian Dill)
  • Alesandra butyracea (Phalwara)
  • Andrographis paniculata (Kalmegh)
  • Calotropis Procera (Madar tree)

Benefits of Using Plant-based Contraceptives

  • They promote sterility
  • Are readily available to locals

Plant-based birth control methods require care and precision. Ask for more than the labels and the prescription.  This way, you have detailed information that helps in your decision making.

Risk factors

  • Uncertain reliability
  • They are processed differently among different age groups and communities, making the result inconsistent
  • The effectiveness of these contraceptives is not guaranteed

Side effects

  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Kidney irritation and inflammation
  • Allergic reactions

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Plant-based Contraceptives- HIP or HYPE?

There are hardly any discussions stipulating how these contraceptives work. Also, there are many gaps to fill when determining the dosage for the different age groups. So, for now, we cannot call it HIP. But, further research can change this view in the future.

 

8. Other Methods

  • Heat Based Contraception

Sperm production is a temperature-sensitive process, with ideal temperatures at 93.2℉. A slight increase or decrease in temperature results in reduced spermatogenesis. This male thermal contraception method is an experimental technique that involves heating the testicles. You can do this in two ways:

  1. You could take hot baths and dip the testicles in hot water. By exposing your testes to temperatures above 116℉, you induce infertility for weeks.
  2. Wearing tight underwear that pushes your testicles into the body exposes them to temperatures about 98.6℉? (the average body temperature). These temperatures are not ideal for sperm production.

So, by providing heat, you can disrupt sperm production. However, the heat level and periods of exposure remain unknown.

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Characteristics of Male Contraceptives

Benefits

  • Safe
  • Reversible
  • Effective

A long-term study is necessary to understand the drawbacks and side effects of this contraception method.

HIP or HYPE?

Male thermal contraception is clearly a HIP. From the preliminary findings, gradually increasing the temperature around the testicles has a contraceptive effect on men.

Challenges Facing Male Contraceptives

The main challenge facing male birth control options is availing them commercially. It takes time and money to move a contraceptive from clinical trials to commercial markets. Also, these drugs need to pass multiple biosafety measures before the FDA can approve them. The initial stages of development to clinical trials and finally launching could take one or two decades and several million dollars.

 

Conclusion

Spousal communication and involvement of men in family planning could ease the burden of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.  However, men often come out as the unsupportive partner. Their lack of participation could be due to obstacles and different uptake on modern contraceptives.

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These concerns are genuine since some go as far as inducing infertility and impotence. Others claim that the contraceptives could interfere with their sexual activities, while some associate their worries with limited choices.

However, modern medicine experts are engaged in research that aims at providing several options for male contraception. And although Vasectomy is an effective male birth control technique, it can be expensive, especially with insurance coverage. Hence the need for better, safer, and cheaper alternatives.

Research shows that there are some promising outcomes in the near future, where contraceptives have a lower failure rate. These birth control techniques are not only fast-acting, long-lasting, and practical, but also easily reversible, which play along with the requirements of an ideal male contraceptive.

But not all is going well; there have been some adverse side effects, which expose men to severe health risks. Some contraception methods are ideal in textbook theories, while others are breaking grounds in population control.

It is high time men started helping their female partners in family planning. Many contraceptive options are HIP in the market, and once you visit your family doctor, you can learn more. If you are a man who desires to have a family later in life and have no idea how to help your partner in family planning, please contact us.

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