Birth Control 101 – For Men Only
July 1, 2015
Several months back, we posted a blog titled, Birth Control 101, as an overview of the various birth control options available to women. Of course, while condoms are also available to men, we figure women should always have some on hand in case the man in question is “fresh out.”
However, now we’re thrilled to post a blog on a new form of contraception that is just for men. That’s right; if this new “Male Pill” works as it’s supposed to, men have access to a physiologic form of birth control for the first time in history.
The Male Pill: Giving Men More Control Over Contraception
Tired of being the only one who has to remember to take a pill every day? Worried that the condoms you’re using may wind up with that one tiny tear or imperfection that allows an eager sperm to meet an egg that didn’t want to be fertilized? Then you’ll be thrilled to learn about the new Male Contraceptive Injections and Pills that are expected to hit the market during the next several years.
Here’s a little rundown about the various contraceptive agents that will be (hopefully) FDA approved and available to American males, the first of which is projected to be on the market in 2018 – 20 and onward:
- Vasalgel. Vasalgel is owned by a medical research institution called the Parsemus Foundation. Women and men alike will appreciate that, unlike a pill that needs to be taken more frequently (requiring routine remembering…), the Vasalgel shot needs only be administered every few years or so to be effective. The injection is administered through the scrotum, using a local anesthetic, and essentially blocks the ducts that allow the sperm to make their way up and out of the penis, while associated fluids can still get through. When a man is ready to be fertile again, a second solution is injected that dissolves the duct-blocking polymer so the sperm can be ejaculated freely again. Clinical trials begin in 2016.
- Gendarussa. This is also a non-hormonal form of male contraception, in the form of a pill. The Gendarussa plant grows in Indonesia and researchers have been able to extract and isolate an active ingredient from the plant so it can be made into pill form. This ingredient has a negative effect on specific enzymes required for the sperm to penetrate through an egg’s outer shell. To date, only one pregnancy has occurred in hundreds of men who have taken the pill for extended periods of time, and there have been no negative side effects reported by the males participating in the trial.
- The Clean Sheets Pill. Bless those Brits for cutting right to the chase rather than creating “medically smart-sounding” names; the Clean Sheets Pill inhibits the male’s ability to ejaculate when he climaxes. Thus, males can experience all the wonders of orgasm, without releasing any semen or sperm. It’s a win-win for couples who don’t want to get pregnant as well as your sheet laundering schedule!
- Anti-Eppin Agents. Researchers in the U.S. are working on a pill that affects the eppin naturally found on the sperm’s exterior surface. When eppin is bound to an anti-eppin agent, it can’t swim properly and as anyone battling infertility knows – poor sperm motility prevents conception.
These male contraceptive solutions are great news for any woman who is tired of disrupting her natural hormone cycle, who experiences negative side effects from hormonal forms of birth control or who is just plain tired of taking on all the responsibility – and expense – associated with more traditional methods of contraception.
Of course, keep in mind that while these new male contraceptives will help to prevent conception, you will still need to be diligent about wearing a condom to prevent the transmission of STDs.
What do you and/or your partner think about male contraception? Share your opinions with the Women’s Health Associates community using our comment box below.