unmarried men and contraception

Most Unmarried Men Use Contraceptives

Contraception can sometimes be a controversial subject. Some men believe that contraception should be the woman’s responsibility – while many women believe it’s the man’s responsibility. Who’s right and who’s wrong?

Realistically, if you’re not in a committed relationship – both partners should probably be using contraception. And when it comes to unmarried men – apparently they are!

Most unmarried men use some form of contraception during intercourse, but younger men are more likely to do so, according to a recent report from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

The findings are based on data from 3,707 unmarried men between the ages of 15 and 44 who had had intercourse during the previous three months. The men were participants in the 2011-2015 National Survey of Family Growth, which collects information from American men and women on relationships and reproductive health.

Almost 82% of the unmarried men had used any form of contraception the last time they had sex. Sixty percent said they had used a male method, such as a condom, vasectomy, withdrawal (removing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation). About 45% used condoms, 1% had undergone vasectomy, and 19% used withdrawal.

Overall contraception rates were highest for younger men and declined as men got older. Almost 95% of men between the ages of 15 and 19 used any form of contraception at their last intercourse, and about 87% used a male method. The rates for men aged 35–44 were 72% and 41%, respectively.

Men and women may make contraceptive decisions together. Still, unintended pregnancies are more frequent among unmarried men and women compared to married couples, the report stated.

Methods of male contraception

There are many methods of male contraception – and of course, some that work much better than others. Male contraceptives include everything from surgery, condoms, medicines, withdrawal, and others. The most commonly used methods of male contraception are surgery, condoms and withdrawal.

3 Most Common Methods of Male Contraception

  1. Vasectomy – Vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilization or permanent birth control. During the procedure, the vasa deferentia of a man are severed, and then tied or sealed in a manner such to prevent sperm from entering into the seminal stream (ejaculate). Vasectomies are usually performed in a physician’s office or medical clinic.  Due to the presence of sperm retained beyond the blocked vasa deferentia, vasectomies only become effective about three months following the operation
  2. Condoms – A condom is a sheath-shaped barrier device that may be used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy and decrease the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STD’s) such as HIV/AIDS. It is rolled onto an erect penis before intercourse and blocks ejaculated semen from entering the body of a sexual partner. The “perfect use” pregnancy rate of condoms is 2% per year. Condoms may be combined with other forms of contraception (such as spermicide) for greater protection. When not used properly – the pregnancy rate among condom users varies,  ranging from 10 to 18% per year.
  3. Withdrawal – The withdrawal method is described as when the man removes his penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation. This method is the least reliable of the three – as some semen can leave the penis even before ejaculation. Also, if the man does not remove his penis in time, he may end up at least partially ejaculating inside the vagina – which could lead to pregnancy. The withdrawal method has a failure rate of about 4% per year if used correctly at every act of intercourse, with a failure rate of 22% per year for typical use

Are there any ‘NEW’ Male Contraceptives?

There haven’t really been a lot of new developments in male contraceptives for a number of decades. However, there are a few methods of male contraception that COULD be viable in the coming years.

Products like Vasalgel and Echo-V hydrogel  (both currently in development )  are long-acting, non-hormonal contraceptives that work very much like a vasectomy. A physician injects a gel into the vas deferens  ( i.e., the tube the sperm swim through)  to block them, rather than cutting the vas – as is done in vasectomy.

The significant advantage over getting a vasectomy is that these options are designed to be reversible. If a man wishes to restore his flow of sperm, whether after months or years, in theory the polymer is flushed out of the vas with another injection. The video below shows how this technology would work.

VIDEO: Vasalgel – Possible Future Contraceptive for Men?

Male Contraception – Always a good idea.

Unless you’re in a committed relationship – and unless you’re 100% OK with having a child – it’s always a good idea for men to use a male contraceptive. Not only does it protect against an unwanted pregnancy – it also protects against STD’s – some of which can have very serious health implications.

According to a study from 2012, 40 percent of pregnancies worldwide were unintended, according to the Guttmacher Institute. New forms of male contraception – or better use of the methods currently available – could likely drastically reduce that number – AND provide protection from STD’s and other unwanted health problems.

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