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There are multiple ways for women to prevent pregnancies during intercourse; many of them are common and well-talked about. However, men are also capable of practicing contraceptive methods besides the most common one: the use of condoms.

Men have five birth control options which include abstinence, condoms, outercourse, vasectomy, and withdrawal. Abstinence includes forgoing sexual activity. It’s simple. If there is no sex involved, there is no way for a women to get pregnant by a man. However, the other four methods do include some type of sexual activity.

Condoms are the most commonly used method of contraception due to their safety, simplicity, and convenience. They are worn on the penis and made of a latex material. By collecting the semen during ejaculation, they prevent it from entering the vagina. If used correctly, only two percent of couples will get pregnant. Condoms also reduce the risk of obtaining STDs. There is also currently an ongoing idea for condoms that change color when they detect STDs.

 Condoms are one of the most common forms of male contraception.

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Outercourse is another safe method for preventing a pregnancy. It can be thought of two things: sexual activity without vaginal intercourse, or sexual activity with no penetration at all. Outercourse is nearly 100% effective, as without vaginal penetration, sperm cannot enter the vagina and impregnate the women. However, outercourse still carries the chance of spreading STDs, as some STDs can be contracted through skin-to-skin contact, such as genital herpes and syphilis.

Withdrawal, another possible option, is similar — sexual activity is involved, yet no physical barriers are used to prevent the sperm from reaching the cervix. Instead, withdrawal means pulling out of the vagina before ejaculation.

A vasectomy is a more permanent form of male contraception. A surgery is performed to close the tubes that carry the sperm to the penis. Thus, sperm cannot leave and is instead absorbed by the body. This is the most effective birth control for men. It needs no outer barriers or further actions to provide pregnancies each time during intercourse. However, as there is sperm beyond the blocked tubes, other forms of birth control must be used initially until the sperm is used up, which might take up to 3 months.

It is important to know the many forms of birth control for women and men in order to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Practicing these methods not only prevents a pregnancy but also lessens the chances of obtaining sexually transmitted diseases. These methods are safe, simple, and effective, and new ideas for protection are always in progress. If practicing them leads to a healthier life with less surprises, why not start now?

Feature Image Source: Basket of Condoms by Steven Depolo

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