Condomless Male Birth Control……But would you trust them???

For as far back as any of us can remember, not getting pregnant has very much been down to the woman to control.  Apart from the ‘probably been there too long’ wallet condom that most men carried around in their 20’s, the market for female contraceptives have always ruled the roost.  Now though, Dr’s and women all over the world are looking to answer the question:

‘Is it better to unload the gun than to cover the target?’

Vasagel is ‘a non-hormonal polymer that blocks vas deferens‘ or to you and me, its a gel that is injected into the sperm tubes which blocks them and stops the sperm from being able to enter the penis.  It is fully reversible and less invasive than a full vasectomy and after successful tests on baboons, it is now ready for human trials.

As a woman myself, this raises more than just the question of can it work or not.

After over a decade of dating and relationships, my biggest question is would I trust someone else to be in charge of whether I get pregnant or not?  After all, it would be me that would either have to have a baby I didn’t plan or exercise my right to choose, both of which are massive biological and psychological events in a woman’s life.

Magazines are full of stories of women that lied to men about taking the pill in order to get pregnant and even though the general consensus is that men do not want kids as much as women do, there are guys out there with say, work committed wives that don’t want to get pregnant that could now be in control of whether they start a family or not.

Also, it makes you think back to all the times you’ve had to have the ‘do you have a condom’ conversation and just how many times you’ve heard them say anything at all, just to get their end away in the heat of the moment.

‘I’ll pull out’

‘It’s ok, I can’t have kids’

‘I’m allergic to condoms’

Whatever it is, we have all heard one excuse at least once in our sexual lives and at least then, we have the choice to back away and refuse entry without one.  But how could you trust something you can’t see?  Of course, men have been doing that for years with us, trusting that we are in fact on the pill, but with the stakes higher on our side, surely we are more likely to ensure we’re covered?

And another concern for me would be STD’s.  The pill stops you getting pregnant, but it doesn’t stop you from contracting some pretty nasty diseases.  Of course, your advice for using any non-condom form of contraception is always that they are best used within a long term relationship, where you know that you are not going to be at risk.  But what if your partner cheats on you?  Then you are at risk because they would be less likely to use a condom as they know they cant get the other girl pregnant.

I asked a few guys if they would take the male form of the pill.

‘Why would I bother, no girl will EVER trust that I had taken it, so would end up using a jonny anyway’

‘If it blocks my tubes, then could it get infected or cause me to be infertile?’

‘What’s the point?  Most girls are on the pill nowadays anyway’

It seemed to be that they think the same as us; trust is a big thing, but it seemed apparent that men these days see the pill as a girl issue.  Something we have been in control of, and quite successfully it seems, for so long now, that if it isn’t broke, why fix it?

Well, vasagel needs one treatment to be effective over extended periods of time.  It also only requires a second ‘flush’ injection to reverse the effects, giving back immediate fertility, whereas female hormone contraception’s can take years to leave the system.  Add to that the fear inducing list of side affects that female contraceptives can have on the body.

High blood pressure, low blood pressure, weight gain , blood clots, nausea, irregular bleeding….the list goes on.  I have a history of blood lots in my family, as well as high blood pressure, and yet I was still sat in the Dr’s office begging them to put me on the pill.  So surely, I would be one candidate that would benefit of my boyfriend using vasagel? Especially as, so far, there are NO reported signs of ANY side effects to mens bodys, minds or reproductive systems.

The funny thing is, I for one would not stop taking my pill, even if my boyfriend started to use vasagel.  Surely two goalies in the net are better than one right?

It seems that the biggest thing to block this injection from reaching the market, however isn’t the consumers reservations, so much as it is the female contraception markets need to sell you your pill on a regular basis.  Not getting pregnant is big bucks on the pharmaceutical market and they won’t want to see a decline in use.

The more you read about vasagel, the more you find yourself thinking ‘why am I putting my body through all this when this solution is so much easier?’  Can you convince young men as young as 15 (the average age that girls ask to go on the pill) that it is just as much their responsibility to not end up a father as it is for their female peers to not end up a mother? And that even if they are on this injection, they still need to use a condom?  It seems unlikely.

Can you re-train a generation of women that have been in control of this subject to let go of the responsibility and put the fate of their body and mind in the hands of someone else?

I for one don’t think that I could.  I love my boyfriend, who I have been with for a long time and I trust him as much as it is possible to trust another person.  If he said he was on the pill, I would believe him, but for some reason, it would still take me a lot of convincing to stop my pill as well and give him complete responsibility on this one.

I asked him if he would take it.  His immediate concerns were what it would do to his body and long term fertility, as well as the fact that it had not been around as long as the pill so would have to see it on the market and working for a long time before he would get involved.

I think by the time vasagel comes on to the market (they reckon by 2017), we ALL need to be more aware of what it can, and can’t do and the plans for it need to be as transparent as possible for us all.

I would love to hear your opinions on this, both male and female.   Would you trust it?  Would you use it?  What would be your concerns?

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17 thoughts on “Condomless Male Birth Control……But would you trust them???

  1. I definitely wouldn’t trust a random one nighter with this, in a relationship it might be different. But I think I’d still carry on with my contraceptive as well (depo provera), covered twice is better than once.

    I’d be interested to find out if it completely stops the mess and how it would affect the overall functioning of the guys junk.

    Cheating…it’s a good point with STDs but the same goes if you’re on any method of contraception other than condoms.

    1. I’m also on depo and I seem to be one of the lucky ones…it works well with my body. I think this could be a great solution for couples that struggle with finding a pill that agrees with the women. My sister for one shouldn’t be on the pill, so this could have been an answer for her.

  2. Great post Vik! It’s a toughie because while I feel that this is something that should have been invented/put on the market a LONG time ago – just purely because I think sexual health and reproductive responsibility is something that both parties should be responsible for. It should not just be up to the woman, or to the man, but has been from the beginning. It’s just another form of sexism. But I do also completely agree that the social change is too great for women to go along with. We live in a culture where men are irresponsible and sexually promiscuous, yes women are as well, but we are made to feel ashamed of this while men are celebrated for it. What woman in her right mind is going to – as you say – trust something she cannot see? Despite this, I think I would trust my boyfriend to be reliable, although I would nag him constantly to check – mainly because I think it would be good for my body to go off the pill after taking it for nearly 10 years. My pill has never caused me any problems – I’m one of the lucky ones – but I don’t like that I am pumping chemicals and excess hormones into my body on a daily basis. I would never trust a casual partner with this, but in a long-term relationship, perhaps. But he would have to be generally reliable – because, like you say, there is a lot at risk for the woman, both pregnancy-wise and psychologically if she has to make a choice. A lot of debate on either side…

  3. As nice as it would be for sexual responsibility to be an equal thing, I don’t think it ever will be. I’m not saying unwanted pregnancies and abortions don’t affect men, however from what I have seen in both situations, the man has certainly gotten over the whole ordeal a lot sooner than the girl.

    The thing that I can’t stop thinking is why wouldn’t you? NO side affects, no hormones; unload your gun without it causing you any problems!

    Men moan about how in the situation of unwanted pregnancy, they have no control over the outcome because it is her body and ultimately her decision on whether they become a father or not…….here is their chance to protect themselves from that situation as well as being ‘trapped’ into fatherhood by devious girls that lie about fertility / the pill.

    If I was a guy that didn’t want children, I’m pretty sure that you could find me in the queue!

  4. Hey Viki

    Very interesting article as a person of the male gender I think you’re right about how it will be difficult for women to trust a man when it comes to contraception that you can’t see. However if this option was available to me now then I would take it just as an extra security measure until me and my partner feel that were ready to take that step. I would just be curious to the percentage of effectiveness as so far there isn’t a temporary contraceptive which is 100%. If there are no side effects and is reversible I don’t see why any make isn’t man enough

    1. I feel the same; take the girl out of the equation for a second….wouldn’t you want to do something that gave you double the chance of not getting someone pregnant by accident. Like you say Jesss, no contraception is 100% effective but if both of you are on ‘the pill’ and using condoms too, that has to be one determined sperm, man! It’s protecting yourself as much as protecting the girl I think

  5. It’s definitely a tough one to consider because you hit the nail on the head…it’s our bodies that have to deal with a pregnancy (and possibly considering what to do about that) if they don’t take it! If I were in a long term committed relationship, I think I could trust the guy (especially if he shared my desire to not have kids). I’m in the unique position in that I can’t use the pill because I do have a history with blood clots (I had DVT a few years ago, so that means there’s not a doctor on the planet that will give me the pill and given the risks, I wouldn’t take it now anyway!), so that severely limits my options, so to have that taken care of by my guy would be awesome! As for a new guy or a casual encounter…heck no!! Besides the lack of STD protection, if they’re not honest…I’d be the one left with the consequences! Great post!

    1. Thanks Vikki! I had a lot of feedback from guys that said that they would ONLY do it if it was a long term girlfriend and she had extenuating circumstances like yours. I asked them why they didn’t want to protect themselves from a baby that they didn’t want and interestingly, they didn’t really have an answer! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  6. Wow! I don’t know how I feel about trusting a man to take his medicine. Although my husband is better at taking his medicine than I am. I agree with SODDINL and would still have to use something more if I weren’t in a relationship. We’re protecting against more than just that unexpected baby afterall!

  7. I think it’s nice that there are more and more options available to men and women. I decided to stop taking the pilll because I had water retention LIKE CRAZY. People can be judgemental about my decision becuase they feel like every young woman should take it. I always tell them that there are other protections out there. There’s more than the pill people!

    1. I’ve noticed my doctors have reeeally been pushing the coil at me lately….and a few of my mates have said the same thing. I get that its no hormone and is as effective but the idea of a wire in me that could be dislodged or tugged puts me off. Also, I’ve heard it is painful to insert. I’m much older than my boyfriend and I have set the bar that if we have no kids by the time I’m 40, then we;re not having any ever and he can get the snip. If I’ve done 20 years of pill, then he can do the rest of our lives with a minor operation lol!! Luckily he agreed and we’re both pretty sure that we don’t want kids ever but a lot can change in ten years.

  8. I don’t know if I would trust male birth control. However, I do think that it’s a great idea. Instead of men always leaving it up to women, they should take some responsibility for their actions. You want to have sex but not a baby, use the necessary precautions and even those precautions aren’t 100% effective.

  9. WOW! I mean okay great invention however I NEVER agree with taking pills! Especially for something like this because you never know what the side affects could be? For me, I would rather accidentally have a baby than take a pill that might cause me to NEVER be able to have a child! Interesting topic, thanks for sharing!

  10. First, I love the first photos of the eggs and spoons. Amazing! Second, I had no idea there was such as thing as male birth control! I really appreciated your post just for informing me about these things!

    1. I’m a depo provera girl myself and I love it! One injection every 11 weeks, no periods and for me no nasty side effects! It’s perfect as I don’t have to remember to take a pill everyday! And so far, 3 years in and no babies 🙂 have heard that Drs like to take you off the pill after 35 so looks like I’m gonna have to look at alternatives in the next few years though :/

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