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1) Barrier Methods
The Male Condom
Male Birth Control Pill
The Female Condom
2) Hormonal Methods
Birth Control Pills
Chewable Birth Control Pill
3) IUDs (Intrauterine Devices)
4) Emergency Contraception
New Emergency Contraceptive Ella®
It was back in the 1960's when the first female birth control pill became available and now 50 years later we may be not far off from a male birth control pill. At the time of this publication there is no male birth control pill available for public use, only the old male standby's the condom or vasectomy. The condom while mostly effective has some complaining about the decreased sensitivity and the vasectomy is a little more severe in terms of birth control. While a vasectomy an be reversed in many cases, the surgical method for birth control is usually only done by those individuals that wish to no longer father more children.
The reason for such a delay in the male birth control is that it is more biologically difficult to create such a pill or method as well as the female birth control worked so well there was not a huge need to create a male pill. As time has progressed, there has become an increasing interest in men taking responsibility for birth control as well as progression in science and technology. It is feasible that within a few years men may be able to take a pill regularly, or perhaps a patch or gel or even an injection or implant.
So far research is being conducted but there is no for sure method in place yet. But a group of out Seattle has found some success with a testosterone patch as well as a micro-capsule placed under the skin by injection. The testing has been only on a low number of men, one man has some headache and night sweat side effects while another reported possibly a small amount of weight gain but still others not experiencing any noticeable side effects.
Essentially there are testing being conducted with all possible forms of male birth control and many are succeeding in bringing the sperm count down to zero. The process is also easily reversed, once the implant is removed, the pill is stopped etc, the sperm count goes up back to normal. A big benefit of a male birth control would also be if a man's female partner was using birth control as it would almost bring the chance of conception to zero, a big benefit to help prevent unwanted pregnancies. Not to mention a man simply being in more control about accidentally fathering a child.
Time will tell which of these will make it to the market within the next few years but many of them look promising thus far. But the question still remains if men will use them as much as their female counterparts. I suppose that is up to each individual, some definitely would while others would still resist.
Visit the Reproductive Health Online website, sponsored by Johns Hopkins University for more information about reproductive health and birth control methods.
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