The safety of sexual intercourse and the prevention of unplanned pregnancy is a shared responsibility of partners. However, a man who wants to protect himself does not have a wide arsenal of contraceptives, because. most of them are based on the principles of the female body and its physiology.
But, despite this, there is still a choice, and in recent years, modern methods have appeared. We talk about the methods of male contraception, their effectiveness during intercourse and why there are still no safe birth control pills for men.
The most popular form of contraception among Russians is condoms, chosen by almost 27 percent of couples, according to the World Health Organization. This method has several advantages at once: it protects well against the onset of unwanted pregnancy in a woman – 98 percent according to the Pearl index (an indicator of the effectiveness of the chosen method of contraception). Protects against sexually transmitted infections: hepatitis, syphilis, HIV, herpes, chlamydia, etc., and most importantly, condoms are common, they can be bought everywhere.
However, they also have disadvantages: 7-13 percent of condoms break during intercourse, in addition, condoms must be able to select the right size and put on correctly.
Also, not all men love condoms, experiencing psychological discomfort in them, which affects the decrease in the level of arousal. For example, according to a survey by Status Praesens, a journal of gynecology and obstetrics, 53 percent of 515 men surveyed choose personal convenience and a method of contraception that does not reduce the sensation of intimacy, i. half of the respondents do not like to use condoms.
In addition, in some men, latex, from which condoms are made, causes allergies. In this case, it is worth using polyurethane contraceptives.
Sexual intercourse without ejaculation is chosen by every tenth couple in Russia, such statistics are reported by WHO. This method does not protect partners from infections and also leads to unwanted pregnancies.
“Coitus interruptus as a method of contraception is the simplest and therefore popular among men,” says Mikhail Gavrilov, Ph.D., obstetrician-gynecologist, gynecologist-surgeon of JSC “Medicina”. But he is very unreliable. Only in 70 percent of cases, partners are insured against getting sperm into the vagina, and the risk of getting even a small amount of them remains high.
In addition, it is important to understand that coitus interruptus can contribute to the development of certain organic disorders of the reproductive system in women and lead to perineal varicose veins.
This is a microsurgical operation that makes a man infertile (temporarily if desired). Its essence is in cutting / ligating the vas deferens in order to prevent sperm from entering the ejaculate. A month later, the man becomes sterile. The effectiveness of protection against unwanted pregnancy is more than 99 percent.
Previously, the procedure was irreversible, but now even crossed vas deferens are sutured again.
“After such an operation, in 90 percent of cases, the activity of the vas deferens in men is restored within three months,” the doctor continues. – As a surgical contraception, they also use the implantation of special valves in the male vas deferens, which causes the absence of spermatozoa in the semen. These valves can be removed if the partners wish to have children.”
However, before surgery, doctors recommend cryopreserving sperm.
Polyurethane plugs are one of the modern experimental methods of contraception. During a microsurgical operation, a gel based on liquid polyurethane is injected into the duct to remove spermatozoa. After the substance thickens, a plug forms in the duct, preventing the movement of spermatozoa. The reliability of this method is 99 percent.
In the case of a polyurethane plug, it will be much easier to return the childbearing function than after a vasectomy. To do this, you need an antidote that gets rid of the cork.
An androgen implant is placed under the skin of a man, which dissolves within a few weeks and deactivates the spermatozoa. The contraceptive effect lasts up to five months, and it is high – more than 99 percent.
However, this method has side effects: headaches, genital cramps, etc., so scientists continue to work on the implant.
A promising development is a contraceptive gel containing nonsideron (synthetic progestin). It minimizes the amount of sperm in the ejaculate.
The gel is applied every day on the skin of the hand – on the inside of the forearm, it is quickly absorbed.
The study of the drug is scheduled to be completed this year.
Contraceptive pills for men
The problem of creating male contraceptive pills is to overcome spermatogenesis. Every day, men produce millions of spermatozoa that can live in the female reproductive system for up to seven days.
A woman produces one egg per month, ready for fertilization, which does not live long – 12-24 hours. Those. it is easier to “neutralize” one egg once a month than a large number of sperm every day. Therefore, the search for an oral contraceptive for men has been going on for decades.
In addition, birth control pills are also more needed by women because of the ability to control the number of pregnancies, because. childbearing and childbirth exhaust the body.
There are drugs on the pharmaceutical market that lead to a temporary contraceptive effect and a decrease in the amount of sperm, but they have not gained popularity. The fact is that these drugs have side effects to a greater extent than female contraceptives. Male volunteers testing the experimental drugs complained of skin rashes, muscle pain and cardiovascular problems, confusion, gastrointestinal disturbances, low mood and decreased libido.
At the same time, such drugs are already quite effective – 96 percent.
In general, hormonal contraception for men today remains a promising area of modern medicine.