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Birth control for men an alternative to vasectomy?

Alternative to vasectomy for men? Contraceptive options for men are condoms, vasectomy, or avoidance.

A study recently published results of 320 men across the world. Men enrolled in the study did not want their partner to become pregnant over the two years of the study. The men started off with normal sperm levels.

The researchers gave the men a hormone shot at eight week intervals over a six month period. Sperm levels were checked. Once low enough, men were given a green light. Interestingly, only 274 or the 320 men were able to get the levels low enough. Of the men who had low enough levels, there were 2.2 pregnancies per 100 women. How does this compare to condoms? Condoms have 3-5 pregnancies per 100 women. Female birth control like depo provera has a rate of 0.3 pregnancies per 100 women. A vasectomy, incidentally, has much better performance.

How about side effects? One could imagine a hormone shot would create some issues. Men across the different sites did report acne. Emotional problems came as well, but they were reported mostly in the patients from Indonesia. Other sites did not report too many problems.

One of the important issues for birth control is reversibility. Vasectomy is difficult to reverse because it requires surgery. That is why urologists try to make sure patients are ready for permanent family planning. Did the males in the study regain their sperm levels? Some men were lost to follow up. Most patients recovered. However, eight patients took more than one year to recover. And worse, one man did not recover until four years later.

Based on this, the alternative to vasectomy for men is still not ready for men. Men need to rely on female contraception. Female contraception is reliable and reversible. Of course, when men are ready to make a permanent move for family planning, the no scalpel vasectomy in San Antonio is always available at The Urology Place.

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