Male contraception: What are the current and future options?

Male Contraception: Current and Future Options

Men who are sexually active have very few options to control their fertility, and these options are far from ideal. Condoms can be constraining to use, vasectomies need more surgery to undo, and withdrawal is not exactly a reliable way to prevent pregnancy.

The use of withdrawal, condoms, and vasectomies have traditionally been the most common forms of male contraception. However, recently, there have been several noteworthy developments in the realm of male birth control.

In this article, we explore the best current and future methods of birth control for men.

Vasectomy: The best male contraception to date

A vasectomy is a medical procedure that permanently prevents pregnancy by stopping sperm from leaving the body (contraception). The operation seals off the ends of the vasa deferentia, the sperm-carrying tubes. A vasectomy is safe and effective at preventing conception, but it does not offer disease protection.

Vasectomies are the sole method of permanent birth control for men as they are 99% effective. There are several vasectomy procedures, but each one prevents sperm from entering the vas deferens, the tube via which sperm typically exits the penis.

A doctor may perform a less invasive outpatient surgery or a more sophisticated surgical operation to cut or knot this tube. The most suitable method is determined by a person’s needs and level of health.

Although certain vasectomies are reversible, the efficacy of these surgeries is contingent on the technique and expertise of the health-care practitioner conducting the vasectomy.

In addition, a vasectomy takes time to become completely effective—typically three months—so a couple must utilize alternate methods of contraception during this period.

Approximately 5% of married males of reproductive age have undergone a vasectomy today, or over 50 million individuals.

Nonsurgical vasectomy: What are the developments?

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure involving the cutting or tying of the vas deferens to prevent sperm from entering the urethra and being transmitted to a female sex partner.

The primary distinction between no-scalpel and standard vasectomies is how the vasa deferentia are accessed. The vas deferens is a channel that transports sperm from the testicles to the urethra, where it combines with the sperm of the female.

In traditional surgery, an incision is made on both sides of the scrotum to access the vas deferens. With a no-scalpel vasectomy, the vas deferens is clamped from outside the scrotum, and a small hole is made in the scrotum to access the ducts.

The development of nonsurgical vasectomies, known as RISUG, which stands for reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance, has advanced significantly in India.

Instead of cutting or tying the vas, biomedical engineer Sujoy Guha, of the Indian Institute of Technology, proposed injecting a polymer gel into the vas deferens to inhibit sperm (a vasectomy). And the therapy may be undone with an injection that dissolves the gel.


Spermicide is a type of male contraception containing chemicals that prevent sperm from reaching the egg. You use it before sexual activity to avoid pregnancy.

You can get spermicide without a prescription in the condom aisle of the majority of drugstores, pharmacies, and supermarkets.

As with other contraceptive treatments, spermicide is most effective when used appropriately every time you engage in sexual activity. Read the instructions that come with your spermicide, and use it every time you have sex, otherwise, it will not be as effective.

Even if spermicide is used appropriately, 18 out of 100 spermicide users will become pregnant annually. In practice, however, around 28 out of 100 people who use spermicide each year become pregnant, meaning that spermicide is 72% successful at preventing conception.

The most effective strategy to enhance pregnancy prevention is to use a spermicide in conjunction with another type of contraception. Your partner can pull out prior to ejaculating, which prevents sperm from entering the vagina and causing a pregnancy. But don’t forget, spermicide does NOT protect against STDs.


Condoms, also known as external condoms, are a contraception method that can minimize the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They are available in a variety of forms, colors, and sizes and some contain a spermicidal lubricant to aid in sperm destruction.

People with latex allergies can purchase condoms made of other materials, such as polyurethane or polyisoprene, instead of latex. It is essential to examine the instructions or labels for allergies.

Condoms can be 98% effective. However, many individuals do not always use them appropriately. They may put it on too late, leave the penis in the vagina after ejaculating, or engage in other behaviors that cause the condoms to rip.

Male Birth Control: How close is science to achieving it?

Male birth control is attracting more attention in recent years. This potential pill might provide a more flexible alternative for men while simultaneously reaffirming two essential facts: both parties share equal responsibility for contraception.

Dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU) is a once-daily medication that lowers two types of male hormones – follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) – to concurrently reduce testosterone and sperm production without generating low-testosterone symptoms (low-T).

Positive Phase I safety data from a trial evaluating two progestogenic androgen tablets was presented at The Endocrine Society’s annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in June 2022.

In early March, researchers at the University of Minnesota presented the results of a preclinical study using a non-hormonal tablet that may soon enter human trials. In addition, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Population Council are co-developing a hormonal gel that is now undergoing a Phase II clinical study.

1. “Everything You Need to Know About Male Contraceptive Methods.” Santé Magazine, Accessed June 2023.

2. “Is a No-Scalpel Vasectomy Right for Me?” Healthline, Accessed June 2023.