What contraception is for men?
Pills or injections are not yet available for men.
Condoms are the only method that prevents pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
Pleasure is the biggest problem with condoms: experienced condom users can find ways round this – for example, the right size and fit is very important. Condoms should not break or slip off, and if that’s happening, there’s usually a reason.
Tailored advice about problems with condoms:
This means taking the penis out of the vagina before coming. This works for some people but involves a great deal of self-control.
There’s quite a high risk of pregnancy because it’s hard to do, and because there is sometimes sperm in pre-cum.
This is a small operation to cut or block the tubes from the testicles. This is a very effective choice for men who don’t want any more children.
Does contraception make women moody?
Sometimes, yes. Different methods affect women differently. Hormonal contraception can sometimes actually help with moods, by levelling out hormones and helping with pre-menstrual tension (PMS).
Will it be difficult for women to get pregnant in future?
It’s a common concern that using contraception will mean that it’s difficult to get pregnant in future. Contraception for women is safe and completely reversible (except sterilisation).
It does no harm to take hormones for many years, and it does no harm when periods stop for a while. It’s harder for women to get pregnant as they get older, but contraception makes no difference to this. Find out more about women's fertility here
Does irregular bleeding do any harm?
Some methods affect bleeding patterns and women might bleed more, less, or unpredictably. Some methods are excellent at making periods lighter and less painful, and women can choose to skip periods completely.
How do men know if their sperm are healthy?
Sometimes couples end up thinking that one of them must be infertile if they are having unprotected sex and have not got pregnant. An egg is only available for 12 to 24 hours in every month, so it’s likely to be just chance instead of infertility.
Men can check whether their sperm are healthy by doing a fertility test – that involves masturbating so that fresh semen that can be looked at a under a microscope. GPs can organise fertility tests.
Can men feel coils?
Coils are very small, and are right inside a woman’s uterus (womb). This video provides more information about coils.
[picture of womb and coil]
Since the coil is right inside the uterus it can’t be felt by a male partner. There are two soft nylon threads which come through the neck of the womb so that the coil can be taken out easily – sometimes men can feel the threads with the penis. If this happens and is uncomfortable, the threads can be trimmed.
[picture of threads though cervix]
Can men feel the vaginal ring?
The vaginal ring is a soft plastic ring which is in the vagina, gently releasing hormones. Male partners can’t usually feel the ring with their penises, but if they can, it can feel quite nice. It doesn’t really matter exactly where the ring sits in the vagina, so it does no harm if it’s touched during sex. It should not be taken out for sex, but if it is, it should be put back within three hours. This video provides more information about the vaginal ring
[picture of ring in vagina]
Can men feel the diaphragm?
The diaphragm is a soft silicone disc which is at the top of the vagina, covering the neck of the womb. It’s used with a spermicide gel. Male partners can’t usually feel the diaphragm with their penises, but if they can, it is soft and is not in the way. It does no harm if it’s touched during sex. It should be left in for six hours after sex, to allow time for the spermicide gel to work. More gel is needed if couples want to have sex again within the six hours. The gel can be messy, but can also be a good lubricant. This video provides more information about the diaphragm
[picture of ring in vagina]
Which type of contraception is the best?
There are advantages and disadvantages to all contraception methods. Some are much better than others for preventing pregnancy. Some choices for women help with mood, acne, painful periods and heavy periods, but some women get more moody, go off sex, get sore breasts or headaches.... Women may need to try a few different methods to find the best one.