For the last 50 years the birth control scene has been mostly dominated by the pill and a multitude of female contraceptives meant to protect women from unplanned pregnancy. Men, however have a far limited choice, where the condom is often the contraceptive of choice for singles looking for casual sex, and men in long term relationships opt for a vasectomy when they don’t want children.
Both male alternatives have myths attached to them that often make men opt out of taking a leading role when it comes to contraception. Namely men often complain that a condom affects sensation during intercourse and a vasectomy is often viewed as a scary surgical procedure that can be irreversible in certain situations.
Yet the birth control scene is rapidly changing with the introduction of new developments. Here’s a brief list of the upcoming developments in the horizon of male contraception.
The future of birth control – A male birth control pill
Theoretically the use of a birth control pill for men should be a safe and effective alternative to prevent pregnancy, however even if studies have been going on for over 30 years, research has not yet placed an effective Man-pill on the market, mostly because contrary to women who release one egg every month, men release approximately 120 million sperm with every ejaculation.
How does male contraception pill work?
Studies so far have focused on a hormone based pill where an extra dose of testosterone and progesterone will essentially shut down sperm production. Though this method has been proven to be 100% effective, the trouble is that so far the male pill has been associated with acne, weight gain, prostate gland growth and abnormal liver function.
In addition since digestion breaks down testosterone, any male pill cannot hold enough testosterone to be effective at reversing the effects of progesterone and the reduction of male sexuality and sexual characteristics, which leads us to the next development – the male contraceptive implant.
To learn more about how the male birth control pill works click here
The future of birth control – A male birth control implant
When it comes to male contraception, the trend seems to focus towards a male contraceptive implant. Way back in 2002 researches from Oragon and Schering AG conducted major studies on a male birth control implant containing etonogestrel – a hormone present in the female pill – which would be implanted under the skin of the man’s arm and can be removed at any time.
The problem with this method is that since etonogestrol blocks not only sperm production but also testosterone, men will need to receive testosterone injections every four to six weeks to reverse the side effects of the drastic reduction in testosterone which is an essential hormone for masculinity.
To learn more about the stumbling blocks of male contraception click here
The future of birth control – the male birth control gel
The breaking news in May 2010 was that a group of California researchers was testing a topical gel that when rubbed on a man’s elbow or stomach should annihilate sperm count.
How does it work?
The concept behind this gel is similar to the male implant and the male pill but this time the hormone would be absorbed through the man’s skin, rather than through this digestive system or blood stream.
This would mean that the side effects experienced in the previous methods should be drastically reduced if one opts for this gel.
The only problem is this man birth control gel is still undergoing clinical research and will only be available in at least 7 years time.
The major problem with these methods is that not only will they hit the market in slightly less than a decade, but we will know about the full extent of any side effects only in about 15 years time.
In addition there is still controversy when it comes to whether men will remember to take their daily pill – should a man pill be available on the market – and whether the availability of these male contraceptives will set an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases since men won’t feel compelled to wear a condom when they have casual sex.
This leads us to the next invention – that definitely tops my list when it comes to creativity – the spray on condom.
To learn more about male contraceptive gel click here
The future of birth control – The spray on Condom
The sale of US condoms has been increasing steadily throughout the years and is expected to reach $444 million this year but studies show that only 61.5% of sexually active high-school males say they used a condom in their most recent intercourse, and therefore companies are constantly on the lookout for innovations to increase sales.
A recent development in this area has been a spray on condom designed to eliminate the guess work of trying to find the right condom size. It consists of a hard plastic tube with nozzles that spray liquid latex from all directions, similar to the water jets in a car wash tunnel.
The advantage of this invention is that since the condom fits 100% perfectly, the safety rate is much higher than a standard condom and this perfect-fit condom also improves sensation. The problem is that men are still reluctant to try this thing on anything other than their finger! Here’s why –
Not only are men scpetical when it comes to inserting their manhood in a tube which sprays latex but the mechanism of this device emits a noisy hissing sound which might ruin the mood during intimate encounters.
The final drawback that is still keeping the product from hitting the market is that liquid latex takes approximately three minutes to dry. According to the inventor, Jan Vinzenz Krausse, he is still working on reducing this drying time and this machine will only hit the market once a faster drying latex is available.
To learn more about the spray on condom click here
“Where’s the male birth control pill?” by Elizabeth Landau www.cnn.com
“The Male contraceptive pill” by Donald Zimmer www.ask men.com
“Researchers testing birth control gel” by Vince Gerasole www/cbs2chicago.com
“Spray on Condoms: Still a Hard Sell” by Callie Lefevre www.time.com