New Birth-Control Options for Men? Yes, Please.

image credit: renjith krishnan

I think we can all agree on one thing: current birth control options, while numerous, all leave something to be desired. Hormonal birth control makes some women feel sick and others feel crazy. Condoms are effective, but not necessarily comfortable. Diaphragms require physical skill to insert and can be bumped out of place. Tubal ligation is invasive and permanent. And foams, creams, and gels are less effective on their own and, I’ve heard from regretful friends, can make you itch and break out.

The other major downside? Most of the contraceptive options available today, with the exception of condoms and vasectomies, put women in the driver’s seat. But scientists are trying to change that. From an article on PBS NewsHour:

But a new wave of research into broadening male contraceptive options is looking at a variety of approaches, including hobbling sperm production and motility and its egg-penetration abilities.

Wednesday on the NewsHour Ray Suarez looks at a promising new daily male birth control pill under investigation in Indonesia that makes sperm incapable of entering an egg. You can watch that report online now in a special web preview.

Another male contraceptive method — albeit a more invasive one — that has been receiving a lot of attention lately: reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance, or RISUG.

Sounds like science fiction for now, but hopefully within the next 5 to 10 years, couples will have birth-control options that take some of the burden off of women.

Would you be glad to turn birth control over to the man in your life? Or do you like managing your own contraception?

When birth control fails: Unplanned pregnancies aren’t just a teen problem

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