As consumers, we’re always searching for products that are going to deliver on their promises. We want sunscreens to keep us from getting burned after a day at the beach and seat belts that will hold up in the event of a crash.
So why wouldn’t we want the same from our birth control?
When it comes to contraceptive methods currently available on the market, some are just more effective than others. Of course, other factors go into choosing which method is right for you, including price, ease of use and availability. But if you’re looking to avoid pregnancy, there’s no denying that effectiveness of your birth control can be some pretty important criteria.
It’s a man’s world (except when it comes to contraception).
Let’s be honest: in most areas of life, guys get the upper hand. Think gender salary gaps and the ability to pee just about anywhere.
But when it comes to contraception options, the ladies are generally in the driver’s seat. Dudes just don’t have the options to prevent pregnancy that women have available to them.
That makes the decision over which method to choose for guys who want to be in control of their reproductive destiny a pretty important one.
- Condoms: Sure, you’ve carried one in your wallet since high school, but Step #1 in ensuring this form of birth control be as effective as possible is to remember to fish it out and put it on in the heat of the moment. Once you do, condoms provide about a 98 percent rate of effectiveness (provided you don’t tear the thin sheaf of latex that covers your penis and traps your ejaculate). When used improperly, the failure rate can be as high as 18 percent. The good new here is that condoms also protect against AIDS and other STDs
- Vasectomy: If you’re looking for a permanent means of birth control, there’s nothing more effective than this quick, in-office procedure that snips the tubes that feed sperm out of the testes and into the penis. There’s less than a one percent chance of failure, provided you wait about two months to have unprotected sex to be sure all residual sperm are out of your system. To ensure you don’t become a part of the one percent, pick up a SpermCheck test kit, which lets you monitor your sperm count in the comfort of your home in about 10 minutes
- Male Contraceptive Pill: Don’t get excited: oral contraceptives for men aren’t a thing yet here in the U.S., but we’re getting closer, according to a new study. The pill, known as DMAU, lowers testosterone levels in users to interrupt sperm production in the testes. Earlier studies of a hormone injection of testosterone and progestin for men, which would be administered every eight weeks, were suspended after researchers found that participants reported increased mood disorders. Researchers are still working on finding the appropriate levels of the drug to be taken orally that would avoid reported side effects, such as depression, acne, lowered libido and liver damage. Critics argue that women struggle with similar ancillary symptoms from hormonal birth control, and a 2016 study linked oral contraceptive for women to depression
It’s important to know that, even if your vasectomy is successful, there’s a small chance of what’s called “spontaneous recanalization,” where the vas deferens re-channels itself to the testes. So to make sure you’re remaining infertile, use the SpermCheck Vasectomy at-home test once a year.
If you’re 100 percent sure you don’t want to have a baby, why not choose a birth control method that’s just as effective? It’s a decision that will bring you 100 percent peace of mind, and might just make sex a little more fun.