A popular internet phrase poses the questions, “Why shoot at a bullet-proof vest when you can unload the gun?”

When a woman visits her doctor to talk about birth control options she is handed a long, double-sided list. She can get a shot, take a pill and have numerous gadgets slid under our skin. For women, doctors got creative. For men, they have kept it simple: wear a rubber.

The introduction of new male contraceptives might change the birth control dynamic altogether. Men have the option to receive a shot of a Polymer gel, Vasalgel, that essentially breaks apart sperm. The catch is that it is injected into the vas deferens, a cute little tube that connects the testicles to the urethra. An anesthetic is administered for the 15-minute procedure and it is reversible at any time with the injection of a different substance. It lasts up to ten years and is safer and more easily reversed than a vasectomy.

Most men will stop listening once they hear a needle will be near their penis. Most men also believe that there’s only ‘the pill’ available for women. The clash of men’s contraceptive and women’s contraceptive is going to open men’s eyes to pregnancy prevention.

Women’s birth control is limited in duration. The pill is taken once a day and fails to do its job if a dosage is skipped. Depo-Provera can be given as a shot every three months. Nexplanon, a small plastic strip inserted in the arm, lasts for three years. With longer infertility usually comes a more invasive procedure. It’s the same with men in this case, but ten years beats a pill every morning. There’s another huge difference between male and female contraceptives: Vasalgel is non hormonal. Choosing a birth control method for women is tricky because hormones play a key role. Some choices include different types and amounts of hormones that could either mix well with a woman’s natural chemicals or make her a little crazy. There are non-hormonal options for women as well, but one involves vaginal insertion [IUD] and the other is surgery.

If a man has the option of using a condom or having his junk stabbed I’m thinking he’ll opt for the Trojan. If a pill could be created for men then that might have a fighting chance for second. Condoms are too convenient and will always win.

Men who will consider Vasalgel are those in relationships. Birth control is an equal responsibility between both parties. If the woman isn’t comfortable with any birth control methods, he may take that responsibility instead. Vasalgel does not fend off sexual transmitted diseases either, so it would lose single men’s interests. I don’t think that guys will take a shot under the belt just to have kind-of worry-free sex.

 

Allie Baker can be contacted at abaker@keene-equinox.com

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