As reasonable adults, we can all agree that pregnancy and childbirth is not the sole responsibility of the women. So too is childbirth control. Men also have options that they can choose during the family planning process.
Men should consider using these options in cases where;
-Their partner reacts badly to any form of contraception (side effects)
-Both partners want to ensure an almost 100% full proof method
Below are the options males have.
Condoms are no new thing. They’ve existed way before the latex-based condoms were developed. There was a time where condoms were made up of animal skins, loincloths, and intestines. We then later saw the introduction of rubber-based condoms, then modern civilizations introduced the latex condom.
Condoms have previously been met with some criticism. Critics argued that instead of encouraging safe sex, they advocate the opposite. According to them, condoms encouraged men to have multiple sexual partners with the hope that they will not impregnate them, or contract sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Condoms are not only 98% foolproof with regards to preventing unwanted pregnancies, but they also protect those engaging in sex from contracting HIV, and other STDs.
Men can also choose not to spend money on condoms and use ones provided by the government. If not, there are numerous options available on the market. They are easily accessible. They come in all forms of sizes, colors, smells, and flavors. If strawberries are your thing, then the private market and Cyril Ramaphosa have you sorted.
Condoms are also an external contraceptive, so It does not affect the men’s well-being (hormones, weight).
Men can also choose whether or not they prefer to choose the lubricated or unlubricated option.
Men (and women) have been heard arguing that condoms decrease the sensual sensation that they would get when they aren’t using a condom. This is why some men refuse to use this option because it takes the enjoyment of sex away from them.
It is a small price to pay for a lifetime commitment to another human life.
Condoms are also known to cause skin irritations due to the latex, the lubricant or the flavors.
Men can, therefore, have allergic reactions to some condoms.
The vasectomy is the male version of sterilization. This is a one-day procedure conducted to ensure that semen that is ejaculated during sex does not contain sperm.
The procedure is done through the scrotum to block sperm from traveling through the vas deferens. The vas deferens is the long tube in which semen and sperm travel through to the penis for ejaculation. The vasectomy, therefore, separates the vas deferens to create a blockage.
It’s a one-day minor surgery and the men can go home on the same day. The vasectomy is known to be the most effective form of birth control. The procedure is also reversible should the man or woman change his/her mind.
Bleeding and discomfort after the procedure is a possibility. There could, therefore, be a risk of infection around the scrotum where it can bleed and swell. Mild pain can be treated with ice packs, or pain meds, unless the pain is too excruciating, in which he should go back to where the procedure took place.
The vasectomy does not mean that the sperm is absent from the semen immediately. It takes a couple of semen analysis to check (about 10). The man should wait for 2/3 months before he has unprotected sex with their partner. A thorough semen analysis is required to confirm the sperm is no longer present.
Researchers are still looking into the possibility of creating a pill meant for men. It is not readily available to the public as yet.
A study conducted at the UW Medical Centre in Seattle and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute in Torrance, Calif experimented on 40 healthy men. The results showed that the drug is effective when taken consistently every day. After 28 days of taking the experimental drug, it was reported that sperm count dropped drastically.
Some of the side effects reported include:
-Low Sex Drive
At this point, we are unsure whether or not the drug will be mass-produced or whether or not men will agree to take it.
What we are sure of is that it takes two to tango and we must take equal responsibility with regards to family planning.
Karabo Motsiri is a first-time mom, over-sharer, lover of life, chronic napper and married to her best friend. She loves a good party because the dance floor is her happy place. She enjoys good food, good conversations, laughs a little too hard, and cries during every episode of Grey’s Anatomy. She started her blogging journey because she wanted to share all the ups and downs of being a young modern mama in South Africa. Her blog Black Mom Chronicles has been featured on Ayana Magazine & SA Mom Blog. She has enjoyed airtime on Power FM and frequently writes for the parenting section of Saturday Citizen. She also works with MamaMagic on their Product Awards, Milestones Magazine, Heart to Heart blog, and the Baby Expo, which is South Africa’s biggest parenting expo.