Birth Control Methods for Men

Birth Control is not just for women! As a man, you can...

  • Decide when you want to use birth control to prevent a pregnancy
  • Protect yourself and your partner from HIV or sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Gain peace of mind and have better sex knowing you are protected
  • Use your own method and not have to rely on your partner's method

Reversible methods of contraception are listed below in order of most effective to least effective. Contraceptive effectiveness is categorized into perfect and typical use.  

  • Perfect use refers to how effective a method is if used perfectly every time.
  • Typical use refers to how effective a method is for those who may not always use it consistently or correctly.

Abstinence

  • Abstinence, not having sex, protects you and your partner from pregnancy and STIs, including HIV.
  • You can choose to be abstinent at any time in your life.
  • Used continuously, abstinence is 100% effective.

Male Condoms

  • Male condoms protect you from pregnancy and STIs, like chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis, and HIV.
  • Condoms must be used every time to be an effective method. They are very effective when used with a spermicide.  
  • If used perfectly every time you have sex, male condoms are considered 98% effective.
  • With typical use, condoms are considered to be 82% effective, meaning 18 out of 100 women will get pregnant.
  • Condoms are very effective as a "back-up" method and to protect you against STIs.

Fertility Awareness-Based Methods

  • Fertility awareness-based methods involve couples working together to learn to tell when the woman is fertile (can get pregnant) and when sex should be avoided (or use another method) to prevent pregnancy.
  • There are several methods for learning when a woman is fertile, including tracking your menstrual cycle and learning to recognize changes in your body and signs of fertility. Your doctor or family planning provider can give you information about these methods.
  • Effectiveness in preventing pregnancy depends on how well the women tracks her cycle and how successful the couple is at avoiding sex at risky times.
  • Fertility awareness for preventing pregnancy is typically only 77% effective, meaning 23 out of 100 women will become pregnant.
  • Many couples use fertility awareness methods when they want to become pregnant.

Withdrawal (Pulling Out)

  • Withdrawal is when a man pulls his penis out and away from his partner's vagina before he ejaculates (cums). Withdrawal works by preventing sperm from entering a woman's body and reaching an egg.
  • How well it works depends on the man being able to know when he will cum and being able to pull out in time.
  • Withdrawal can be 96% effective if performed perfectly every time you have sex. Perfect use for this method is very difficult.
  • With typical use, withdrawal is considered only 73% effective, meaning 27 out of 100 couples relying on withdrawal will get pregnant.
  • Withdrawal does not protect against STIs or HIV.

Emergency Contraception

If a condom breaks or your method fails, you may still prevent pregnancy with emergency contraception.

Emergency Contraceptive Pills

  • Emergency contraceptive pills (EC) can be taken after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.
  • Your partner should take EC as soon as possible, but can be taken up to five days after sex.
  • EC is not an abortion pill. It will not stop or harm an already established pregnancy.
  • You can get EC pills over the counter at a drugstore or family planning clinic at a reduced cost.
  • EC pill effectiveness varies by brand and the number of days after unprotected sex.
    • Levonogestrel EC pills are up to 89% effective when taken within 72 hours (three days) after unprotected sex. These pills reduce the risk of pregnancy up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex, but are less effective as time passes.
    • The prescription EC pill containing Ulipristal acetate lowers the risk of pregnancy by 85% up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex. It stays as effective for five days after unprotected sex.
  • The Copper IUD can also be used as emergency contraception if placed wihtin five days of having unprotected sex. It can then be conintued as a very effective form of birth control.
  • EC does not protect against STIs or HIV.

Permanent Contraception

If you know you do not want children or do not want any more children, you might consider sterilization. A family planning provider can give you information and answer questions about sterilization procedures and can schedule or refer you for the procedure.

Vasectomy

  • Vasectomy is a simple surgical procedure where the tubes that carry sperm are cut and sealed. The procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Vasetomies can be done in a family planning clinic or doctor's office.
  • Vasectomy is a permanent method of birth control and should be chosen only if you are sure you do not want to have a child in the future.
  • Vasectomy is one of the safest, most effective (99%), and popular birth control methods.
  • Vasectomy will not change a man's sex drive, his ability to have sex, or orgasm.
  • Sterilization procedures, like vasectomy, are available only to clients who are 21 years of age or older.