Why men should consider more birth control options

When we have conversations around birth control and contraception, it mostly centres around women. But what if we also focus on men and have them also try more birth control options?

A few years ago, when I first became sexually active, I used the emergency morning-after pill and I have no evidence of this, but it affected my period.

I used to get heavy flows, especially on the first day, but after that, I started getting mere drops as the first flow. I used this pill just once.

Now, imagine what birth control does to women who have to use it every day. And no, I don’t mean the emergency after pill, I mean the regular birth control many women take every day to avoid pregnancy, amongst other things. It has many side effects.


A Short Lesson on Birth Control

According to the Office of US Women’s Health, birth control AKA contraception is any method, medicine or device used to prevent pregnancy. There are different types of birth control, some of the most popular are the ovulation pill, the intrauterine device (IUD), birth control patches, the implant amongst others.

Birth control often alters the hormones and subsequently, the ovulation system of the woman using it. Many women use it for different things, some of which are to stop or lighten periods and reduce the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Birth control often have many (sometimes serious) side effects, some of which are weight gain, bloating, heavy cramps, nausea, vomiting, sore breasts, etc. it is important to talk to your doctor before choosing to use any birth control, to find out which is suitable for you. Emergency birth control pills should not be used regularly – only for emergencies.


On Men and Birth Control

Realistically, women can only get pregnant a specific time of the month and have only one baby a year. The gestation period is nine months when a woman gets pregnant, she’s pregnant for the large part of a year. Men, however, produce sperm every day for years. Men can get as many women as possible pregnant every day of every month. Therefore, it is more logical that men should consider more birth control options. Birth control greatly affects women’s health and general well-being. There have been albeit rare- cases of women going into septic shock, having liver disease, blood clots, strokes as a result of birth control complications.

Men, however, can choose to wear condoms, which not only prevents pregnancies but also sexually transmitted diseases. Another option for men is the vasectomy. A Vasectomy is a minor procedure which involves cutting, tying or sealing the small tubes inside the penis that carries sperm. It is painless, quick and 100% effective in ensuring the prevention of pregnancy. Vasectomies are also reversible if a man in fact changes his mind after getting the procedure done. However, it is advisable to be completely sure before getting one.

As at last year, the male contraceptive pill had passed the first round of testing which brings hope that there will be more options available to men when it comes to birth control.


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