Male contraceptives are traditionally split into three groups: barrier, medical and surgical contraceptives. Barrier — condoms, medical — hormonal drugs (male “birth control” pills or injections), surgical — vasectomy, ligation of the vas deferens.
The main male contraceptive method is using condoms, a great device that can not only protect from unwanted pregnancy but also from STDs. Around 85% of men use condoms while only 2% use vasectomy.
The polls show that almost 50 % of men would be interested in using alternative methods of reversible contraception — if they exist.
A new type of barrier contraceptive is Vasalgel. It is a substance injected into the vas deferens and becomes solid in contact with living tissue and blocks the sperm from being ejaculated. If you inject another substance, it will dissolve the one that blocks the vas deferens, and the man will be able to impregnate again. The effectiveness of Vasalgel is estimated to last at least ten years.
Other male contraceptives, such as pills, are harder to develop than female contraceptives. The male pills can prevent sperm production, but the hormonal imbalance can cause health problems. Research on this form of contraception has been conducted for the past 50 years. Very recently, a compound that neutralizes a protein, which plays an important role in sperm formation has been developed in the US. Clinical trials involving humans are planned for the end of 2022.
The second phase of research into the daily use of Nestorone, a combination gel for male contraception is now taking place across ten countries worldwide. The gel's action mechanism is the suppression of sperm formation. The first interim results are already out: 420 couples who participated in the clinical trials had no registered pregnancies.
A revolution is coming soon in the world of male contraception, but for now, the most reliable way to protect against unwanted pregnancy is still the condom.
Learn how to choose a condom correctly in our other article.