Male contraceptives also known as male birth control are methods of preventing pregnancy and other sexually transmitted diseases. The most common kinds of male contraception include condoms, withdrawal or pulling out, outercourse and vasectomy. These contraceptives have their merits, demerit and level of effectiveness.

  1. Condoms:

    This is a thin rubber sheath worn over an erect penis. It prevents pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease (STDs). They create a barrier that keeps semen and body fluids from coming in contact with each other. Condoms are made in different forms like: latex, plastic or lambskin. Most men use the latex condom, those sensitive to latex can use plastic condoms. Condoms are lubricated to prevent irritation or pain during sex. They are either oily based or water-based lubricant. It is better to use the water-based product as oil-based lubricants can damage the condoms.

How to Use A Condom

  • Make sure the package is sealed before use.
  • Avoid the use of expired condoms
  • Throw away if soft, brittle and sticky
  • Use water based lubricated condoms
  • Put it on before you come in contact with your partner
  • Keep it on the whole time from start to finish
  • Use a new one for every erection
  • Pinch the tip of condom (if there is no reservoir) to create space for collection of semen
  • If you feel it break or tear during sex, stop immediately and pull out.
  • Ensure after sex, you pull out carefully still having the condom on.
  • Discard used condom in the toilet

Merits of Using Condoms

  • It prevents pregnancy
  • It reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases like, syphilis, Gonorrhea, HIV, herpes
  • Condoms are cheap
  • It is readily available and accessible
  • The use of condom doesn’t require much expertise

Demerits of Using Condoms

  • It can cause irritation
  • Sexual pleasure is reduced
  • It can break

Effectiveness: Chances of pregnancy and STIs is 98%

Also Read: Effects of Alcohol on Men’s Health

  1. Withdrawal:

    This is a method of preventing pregnancy where the male pulls out the penis from the vagina before ejaculation. This is difficult to do perfectly and less effective as there is a chance of some sperm cells in the pre–ejaculate entering the vagina causing pregnancy.


  • It is a natural old method
  • This method is pleasurable
  • it is free


  • It must be combined with other methods to be effective
  • It doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted infection
  • Pregnancy can occur
  • It requires skill and dedication

Effectiveness: 78%


  1. Outercourse:

    Outercourse, also known as non-penetrative sex, is a sexual activity that usually does not include sexual penetration. It generally excludes the penetrative aspects of vaginal, anal, or oral sexual activity, but includes various forms of sexual and non-sexual activity, such as frottage, mutual masturbation, kissing, or cuddling.


  • No fear of pregnancy
  • No fear of sexually transmitted infections


  • Reduced pleasure
  • Infections e.g. herpes
  • Erectile dysfunction from prolonged masturbation

Effectiveness: 100 %

  1. Vasectomy

    Vasectomy is a surgical procedure which involves the severing of the vas deferens in the scrotum. It is a permanent method used to prevent pregnancy. In very rare cases, the man’s tubes, called the vas deferens, can re-join. In those cases, a pregnancy could happen.


  • No fear of pregnancy


  • It is not reversible

Effectiveness: Almost 100%



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