Guys, You’re Not Off the Hook When It Comes to Birth Control

by Kinkly
Published: AUGUST 21, 2013 | Updated: AUGUST 21, 2013
It might seem like women are stuck with all the decisions, but there are many things men can (and should) do.
When it comes to birth control, women seem to be stuck with all the tough decisions. There are lots of options: the pill, the patch, the ring, the shot, an IUD, a tubal ligation. This can leave the men in their lives feeling like they don’t have many choices. That's not entirely true. In fact, there are a lot of things men can (and often should) do to make a pregnancy less likely. Best of all, the future looks bright in terms of providing more contraceptive options just for men.

Things a Guy Can Do to Prevent Pregnancy

Just because men can't actually use most forms of birth control doesn't mean they're entirely off the hook - at least not if they want to avoid an unwanted pregnancy and the risk of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. Safe sex involves two responsible partners. So what can men do to make their sex lives safer? Here are a few tips.

Use Condoms
Wear a rubber - every time - unless you’re confident your partner is using a reliable form of birth control. With new partners, casual partners, or non-monogamous relationships, it's best to always use a condom, regardless of her birth control. (A condom works best when you put it on right. Read 9 Things You Didn't Know About Putting on a Condom.)

Offer to Pay
Your lady may have to take the pill, but you can always offer to pick up refills for her. Birth control can be expensive. You’re both benefiting from it, so offer to split the cost!

Learn about contraception, research the different types of birth control and understand how they work. That way you'll be able to have an educated discussion about it with your partners. (Get started on research by reading We Asked An Expert: Which Birth Control Is Best?)

Offer to Help
Ask your partner what you can do to help make it easier for her to use her birth control. Does she need a ride to the doctor’s office or the pharmacy? Does she need help remembering to take her pill? Again, birth control benefits both of you, so offer to give your partner any help she requests.

Don’t Have Sex Without It
If you don’t have a condom and she isn’t on birth control, wait until you do. Don’t ever pressure your partner to have unsafe sex (or any kind of sex for that matter), and refuse to put out if she pressures you.

Make the Cut
If you're absolutely certain you don’t want to have children, or you have as many as you want to have, then a short procedure with a physician can prevent you from getting your partner pregnant permanently. A vasectomy isn't 100 percent effective, but it’s pretty close. Make sure to do the follow-up test a few months after the procedure to ensure it worked, and use a backup method until you have that confirmation. Also keep in mind that this will not protect you against sexually transmitted infections. (Sometimes, vasectomies reverse themselves. Read about this and other amazing penis facts in 10 Things You Don't Know About Penises.)

New Contraceptive Options for Men?

Birth control blogs have had some whisperings about a new birth control option for men that is nearly finished clinical trials in India. It's called RISUG (Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance). This non-toxic formula is injected into the vas deferens, rendering the sperm incapable of fertilization as it passes through. It's safe (as far as we know), 100 percent effective, may last for up to 10 years and is easily reversible with the injection of a solution that flushes out the vas deferens. It sounds pretty amazing, but so far it isn’t available outside of clinical trials. Even so, it's nice to see more development in male contraception. The more options we’re provided with for birth control, the more likely it is that couples will be able to find something that works well for them. Hopefully this method will be as simple as it sounds and be on the market soon.

Man Up

Birth control is (or should be) a couple's issue, not a women's issue. So far, men don't have a lot of options to prevent pregnancy on their end. What they can do is use condoms, be supportive of their partners’ use of birth control and even by get a vasectomy in some cases. Women have been held accountable for birth control for, well, forever. Until there are more options for men, lending a hand is the least they can do.

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