When talking about contraception, the focus is typically on the female partner within a heterosexual relationship. Likely this is because women have several options: hormonal, barrier, long acting reversible contraception (LARC), and abstinence. Rarely does the conversation transfer responsibility to the male partner – because really, there are not that many options.
What are the birth control options available to men?
Certainly, condoms are typically the first and only option that comes to mind. Condoms are always a must in any sexual relationship to help prevent the spread of STI’s as well as pregnancy prevention, at least until the couple is in an agreed-upon monogamous relationship. When used correctly condoms are effective about 98% of the time. When not used correctly, that percentage drops to about 82%. When we talk about correct usage, that refers to the condom being used every single time a person has sex, using an intact and unexpired condom, and also putting it on the penis correctly and in a timely manner.
Abstinence is another option. Okay, so maybe it is not an option if we are talking about contraception at this point. Moving on…..
Mutual masturbation is another method couples may choose to avoid pregnancy. It is pretty handy.
Wow – check out all those options men have!
There is another option…..Vasectomy.
Once a man (or a couple, if he is in a relationship) decides he has enough children or has chosen not to father children, he can undergo this minor surgical procedure which will permanently protect against pregnancy.
Thinking from a woman’s perspective, what a loving gesture this is! Women typically bear the burden of pregnancy prevention with years of hormones or LARC placed within their bodies. But if these methods fail, it is nine months of pregnancy, then labor and delivery, recovery, and ultimately a lifetime of care for the child. This also may affect a woman’s career path. The unspoken message a man who choses to have a vasectomy sends to his partner is “I love you, I care about you and your health, and I respect you as a woman. Thank you for birthing our kids – it really looked like it hurt and I’m so glad I didn’t have to go through that. I can handle a little snip for our family.” Okay – maybe what the male partner is really thinking is “Geesh, these kids are expensive.” Whatever the reason, it is a terrific option when making the decision to no longer have children.
Each individual, couple, and family needs to decide what works for them when it comes to birth control options, but vasectomies are one of the few options men do have. Watch this video from World Vasectomy Day.org to learn more: