Male Birth Control Is Coming, But Will Guys Really Use It?

Unless you’re in a stable relationship and actively trying to start a family, one of your biggest goals when having sex, other than to orgasm, is not to get pregnant. Whether you’re on the pill, have an IUD, or play with fire and use the pull-out method, the onus is generally on us to make sure a guy doesn’t knock us up. Now, it’s time for guys to get in the game, and a new scientific/medical breakthrough means that male birth control will be on the market by 2018 — but will guys actually use it?

A new study has proven that Vasalgel, developed by the Parsemus Foundation, is incredibly effective in removing sperm from semen. It sounds scary, but it’s totally not — and it’s reversible. You inject Vasalgel into the vas deferens (the ball sack, if you forget your biology lessons) and it basically serves as a temporary vasectomy that’s effective for at least a year, with researchers saying it could theoretically last for several more. It was first tested on 12 rabbits, 11 of which showed no signs of sperm in their semen for up to a year after Vasalgel was administered. Pretty cool, right? After that, a guy can get to baby making, if that’s what you want. Plus, if a year seems like a long time to be sperm-free, the great thing is that Vasalgel is reversible and can be “flushed out” via a second injection, with sperm flow returning rapidly.

The next step is for Vasalgel to be trialed on actual men, a process which should take about six months and will kick off later this year. It’s expected to go well, and male birth control should be available for men in the next two years. Sounds pretty great, right?

There is, of course, the fact of whether or not guys will actually go for it. Telling a guy you want to inject something into his balls likely won’t go over well, and there will likely be a ton of resistance from guys with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude to birth control — in other words, if we’ve been taking the pill for a while, why can’t it just stay that way? Of course, the onus to stay child-free shouldn’t just fall on women. It takes two people to parent, so isn’t it time guys got involved with the effort not to start a family before we’re ready?

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