Love is sharing

Every year, 40 percent of pregnancies are unwanted and 25 million unsafe abortions are performed worldwide. Also, 16 million teenagers aged 15 to 19  give birth. There are 13 different means of contraception, but there is only one, known and simply reversible, for men that also has the particularity of protecting against STDs: the condom, which also exists for women. One might think that the pill is the revolutionary means of contraception: one out of two women in France uses it but one out of five women forgets to take it.

For a long time, women have not been told about the risks of thrombosis, cancer, and heart attacks that hormonal treatments can cause. It was also finally noticed that the pill increased the probability of depression in teenagers by up to 80 percent. But in the meantime, when you’re a woman who prefers to stop taking the pill and be better informed, you’re blamed, judged, and accused of betraying sexual emancipation. The male pill exists but no one sells it because there are risks of mood disorders, decreased libido, muscle pain. But if the pill is bad for women, should the same be given to men? On paper, 61 percent of people, both genders combined, are ready to switch to the new forms of male contraception… But the labs don’t want to invest in it because it would compete with female contraception, which pays them a lot. Women have been carrying the mental burden of contraception for 50 years now, so maybe it’s time to share a little on this subject?

A vasectomy is an easy surgery under local anesthesia that is performed in 15 minutes, which consists of blocking the canal, called the vas, which leads the sperm to the exit. Compared to the sterilization of women, vasectomy has fewer serious complications and is less expensive than a tubal ligation. It is one of the most effective contraceptives with 99.8 percent effectiveness. The pill has a theoretical efficiency of 91 percent« due to forgetfulness ». Otherwise, it is 99.7 percent. There is no harm to sexuality, libido is intact and erections are not affected. It is rare for a man to express regret afterward: 6 percent in the United States, 3 to 4 percent in Quebec. Canal reconstruction surgery exists under the name of vasovasostomy, but it only leads to pregnancy in 40 to 50 percent of cases. If you would like to know more, ask your attending physician who will refer you to a urologist.

The contraceptive method called the “thermal method” consists of slightly increasing the temperature of the testicles. A moderate increase in testicular temperature blocks the process of sperm production, maturation, and transport. This is what the body does naturally in normal times: the scrotum contracts when it’s cold to bring the testicles closer to the body and thus, warm them up, or on the contrary, slackens to move them away when it is warm. The principle of this contraception method is therefore to bring the testicles up close to the body with the help of underwear or a ring. It should be worn 15 hours a day during waking hours. If you forget, you will have to think about using another method of contraception, for about one month. A spermogram should be performed before using this method and after three months of use to check the contraceptive effect. It is thus necessary to wait three months before passing only to this contraception, or you can use it in a complement of another one. It is a very effective means if one respects the protocol. All the people who wanted to give birth after stopping contraception have succeeded. There are some contraindications: it is not recommended to use this contraception in men who have a « history of testicular descent abnormalities (cryptorchidism, ectopy) treated or not, inguinal hernia treated or not, or testicular cancer. As a precautionary measure, severe obesity or the presence of grade 3 varicocele are currently contraindications to this method. » There are no side effects. It is easier to get used to wearing these underwear than glasses. A period of adaptation is necessary, but in a few days, it becomes hard to feel whether the testicles are in the high or low position. A cord is used to adjust the diameter of the hole through which the penis passes, it should not be too tight or not tight enough, after a few days you should be used to finding the right fit. The Andro-switch ring uses the same principle.

Natural methods reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy without being effective contraception. Their failure rate is estimated between 30 and 40 percent depending on the method. No specialist recommends the use of these techniques.

If we consider that mastering one’s fertility is a big step for women, there is no reason why it shouldn’t also be progress for men, because getting involved in contraception means learning in one’s body that sexuality, in addition to being a pleasure, is a responsibility.

Paul Janiszewski


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