Condoms are not the only man contraceptive method

Written by: Anel Martínez



Time to read 4 min

OK guys, we all know that having sex is very pleasurable, but we have to be conscious that intercourse sex could lead to an unwanted pregnancy or/and sexual transmitted infection. We are not saying that you have to celibate out of fear of contracting an infection or a pregnancy. Let’s be clear about something, we want you to have lots of fun and engage in sexual encounters, if that what you seek, but having a clear mind minimizing the chances of having unwanted side effects.

There are many options on birth control for men that you might not have known. Keep reading to find out. 

Condom, the most popular method

Let’s talk about the most common type of male birth control: the condom. Just by reading the word condom, you are most likely visualizing a latex tube that covers the penis. But, did you know that you’re not the only one that can put on a condom? 

Man holding condom with girlfriend

Types of condoms

You might not know this but, condoms come in different sizes and material, colors, length, odor, some even come with a long-lasting effect to maintain an erect penis, and more.  There are even some condoms for external and internal use.

–  External condoms 

Or better known as condoms for men or peoples with a penis, as they are used to cover an erected penis. This type of condom can be used for sexual intercourse for the vagina or the anus. It may also be used for oral sex. They are typically made of latex, but there are people that can be allergic to latex and as an alternative, they are also available in non-latex materials, such as lambskin or polyurethane.

–  Internal condoms


The less common or less used one is the internal condom. It is basically a pouch that is worn inside the anus or vagina. Think of it as an inverted traditional condom.

Did you know that… for the first time in history, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the marketing of condoms especially intended for anal sex? They are still under review as there is still a lot of testing to be done, but it is an important achievement as it is known that “the risk of STI transmission during anal intercourse is significantly higher than during vaginal intercourse”. 

What is the effectiveness of condoms

Ironically, some of the ingredients in condoms may actually increase the risk of getting STIs, yeast infections and other conditions by causing irritation or allergic reactions, or disrupting the vaginal microbiome. But most of the condoms are 98% effective at preventing an unwanted pregnancy and STIs.

What can you use instead of a condom

Most contraceptives are designed for people with vulva, leaving few pregnancy prevention options for those with penises. Currently, men have only two known effective options for birth control: external condoms and vasectomy. Vasectomy is a surgical procedure to cut or seal the tubes that carry sperm to permanently prevent pregnancy, but not an STI.

Other male contraceptive methods



Let’s start by talking about male gel injection contraceptive methods. Unlike a vasectomy, the non-hormonal birth control is easily reversible. It can be effective for years. This type of method requires only one day of recovery, being less invasive than other methods.

  • Some gel get injected into the vas deferens.

  • Other type of gel get injected in the scrotum.

 Hormonal methods: 

  • There is another type of injection method that prevents the release of the pituitary hormones that tells the testicles to produce sperm by controlling the amount of testosterone in the body. Weekly or monthly injections reduce sperm counts and prevent pregnancy

  • There’s also a type of gel that has to be applied on the skin. It gets absorbed and prevents the formation of sperm. This gel is a combination of Nestorone (NES) and testosterone (T). Nestorone is a progesterone-like hormone that acts on the testes to stop sperm production. Testosterone is a male hormone and is included to retain libido.

  • Birth control vaccine targets a protein called Eppin that’s found in sperm. A vaccine to target this protein has been successful in lessening sperm counts. Other potentials for a birth control vaccine are GnRH and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). The birth control vaccine is not reversible in some men, needs frequent booster doses, and is not fully dependable.

 Non-traditional methods: 

  • Testicle ultrasound, by inducing ultrasound in the area, sperm becomes less effective for six months.

  • Hot baths: exposure of 38°C to 46°C while taking a bath has been associated with less sperm count. 

  • Heated underwear consist of using a tight underwear that presses the man’s testicles against his body, raising the temperature by 2°C. This has been shown to slow down the production of sperm temporarily.

Hormonal and non-traditional contraceptive methods
Is sexual withdrawal a safe method?

Sexual withdrawal, known as the pullback method star technique for many couples, is not a contraceptive one, nor does it prevent pregnancy or STIs.

The future for male birth control

It’s no surprise that women have a variety of birth control methods, but, time has changed, and so the possibilities. Scientists have been trying for decades to develop an effective male oral contraceptive, but there are still no approved pills on the market. But research is on its way to make this possible. There are two main directions of research:

  • Hormonal male birth control: Synthetic hormones that can safely and effectively stop sperm production.

  • Non-hormonal male birth control: Prevents healthy sperm from reaching a woman’s vagina.

Young couple in bed together
Which method is better?

There are many ways to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but only some can also prevent an STI. It all depends on what you are looking for. Therefore, you should take time to explore what the different options are and determine which one is best suited to your needs. Take control of your life and enjoy the journey. 

Anel Martínez

Author: Anel Martínez  (Sexual Coach at MYHIXEL)

Sexologist specializing in sex therapy and sex education, mental health and human behavior.

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