On the previous page, you said that you are MALE and do NOT want to create a pregnancy for a partner right now, but understand that no method of birth control is 100% effective. You want to find the best method for you understanding that even the most effective methods of contraception used properly may still leave a partner at some small risk of pregnancy and you can deal with those possible risks.
While there are currently quite a few methods of birth control for men in the experimental and developmental phases, at the current time, men do not have many options when it comes to birth control which is entirely up to them.
Your current choices are:
I know that it can seem pretty unbalanced that men have so few options. However, at the same time, most companies which create and market birth control methods are run by men themselves (so, it's not like women are purposefully shutting guys out or trying to make reproductive choices for you), often men have not been all that cooperative with birth control or in pushing for development of new methods, and, of course, while men absolutely are impacted by a pregnancy, since they cannot become pregnant, they are not impacted with the same depth as women.
Vasectomy -- male sterilization -- is technically an option, but because it is costly, often permanent, and both expensive and iffy to reverse, it's not often advised for younger people, and even for those who do strongly feel they do not ever want to reproduce, most doctors will not perform a vasectomy for a very young man.
So, if you're a guy under 30 who wants to be sexually active and also try to prevent a pregnancy, you're left with withdrawal, condoms or with choosing only to engage in sexual activities which don't pose a risk of pregnancy, and either of those latter two options are very effective.
You can read more about this issue here, but allow me a brief word on why abstaining from sexual activity which poses a risk of pregnancy is not only not a huge deal, but also has some hidden benefits. The biggie, of course, is the preventing pregnancy part. But equally large is that fact that while a majority of men are satisfied with intercourse, a majority of women are NOT. Plus, plenty of men don't think it's all that, either. Focusing on other activities when you're male with a female partner not only helps keep the babies away, it also is much more likely to result in your partner feeling satisfied, and you can be just as satisfied with other activities. There's a reason why older adults who have long since first had intercourse don't suddenly want to do nothing but, and still very much want to make out, fondle, fumble and engage in a wide variety of sexual activities, after all. Too, if one or both of you really aren't ready to deal with a pregnancy, that's one bit of stress you can take out of your sex life, which can help it be more enjoyable. Less stress = more arousal.
If you'd like some information on ways to completely prevent pregnancy, or want to have an idea about what activities won't pose pregnancy risks, click here.
If you and your partner do want to engage in vaginal and/or anal intercourse, you've got condoms. They're cheap, easy to find, easy to use, and while they do require a quick pause in the middle of the action, and do slightly reduce sensation, when you look at the effects of most methods of birth control, they are a method with some of the fewest effects of any other method. They also allow you to share responsibility for reducing the risk of STIs and to protect yourself from those, as well.
If you'd like some basic information on condoms, instructions for using them, and some tips for making them feel best and finding the right condoms for you, click here.
Suffice it to say, I'd encourage you to cooperate with a partner in the use (or expense) of her method no matter what. That can include everything from helping your partner foot the bill, to aiding her in insertion of some methods (even just by being sure to give her time to insert them properly) to just being aware of what side effects she might be dealing with when it comes to her method so that you can be understanding and sensitive when her method results in things like decreased sexual desire or vaginal lubrication, mood changes, tender breasts, weight gain or vaginal spotting. Your cooperation can often make not only a positive difference in your sex life and your relationship, but with some methods, can assure they're most effective.
If you want to know more about a method your partner is using, and how you can help use it properly and be supportive with use, you can find out all about it by clicking that method below:
For a bit more on birth control issues for men, and the male part of reproductive choice, have a read here: Hey, Boyfriend! Male Reproductive Choices.
Don't forget: Statistically, sexually active young adults are as, if not more, likely to acquire a sexually transmitted infection (STI) as you are to become pregnant. Although 15-24-year-olds represent only one-quarter of the sexually active population, they account for nearly half of all new STIs each year, and of the 18.9 million new cases of STIs each year, 9.1 million (48%) occur among 15-24-year-olds (AGI). Often people have some funny ideas about who is most likely to get an STI, but the fact of the matter is that younger people -- of any sexual orientation, any economic class, any kind of relationship -- have been the highest risk group for some time now.
Condoms are the only method of birth control which also provide protection against STIs. It's pretty typical for younger people to ditch condoms if they have another method of birth control, so just remember that STIs are still a risk if you're using another method. You can read all about safer sex here -- Safe, Sound & Sexy: A Safer Sex How-To -- but the rule of thumb most medical experts and prevention organizations suggest, which we also encourage at Scarleteen is six months of safer sex, six months of sexual monogamy, and then TWO full STI screenings for each partner -- once at the start of that six months, once at the end -- before ditching latex barriers.