Did you know, women account for 93% of all sterilizations? And the use of condoms declined to 52% over 8 years, while vasectomies fell by 73%? It is funny to know that when it takes both men and women to have a baby then why men are not more involved when it comes down to contraception or birth control methods.
There are several reasons why a man should be more involved in reproductive health decision making. The first one is that when his partner gets pregnant, he is equally responsible for it, and it comes with many paternal obligations and responsibilities.
Another reason is the culture. It is still considered to be a women’s job to look after the kids and also the family planning. Educating men is very crucial to prevent unintended pregnancies and improve reproductive health.
India’s family planning campaigns, sexual health clinics have traditionally been focused on women.
Three in eight men believe that ‘contraception is women’s business and that men should not have to worry about it.’
There are limited campaigns and contraceptive options for men and this hampers the system even more. Most methods of modern contraception are for women while there are only two methods for men- Vasectomy and Condoms which are underpromoted.
But the science of male birth control is tricky too. Researchers are after a lot of ideal male pill but some pills have the potential for several major side effects but work continues. So far, most tries at this time have been injectables.
A large study of an injectable hormone combination showed promise in 2016. Even with some side effects, 75% of those interviewed after the study said that they would use it again.
But a safe, effective male birth control pill is still in making. Most men and women say that man should play more of a role in choosing and using contraceptives.
It is both partners’ responsibility to ensure that you have safer sex and use contraception to prevent both unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Young men need to be convinced that male contraception is safer and simpler than female sterilization. While scientists are busy working on the male pill, men can still be proactive about reproductive health.
Young boys should be taught about these methods in sex education at school and targetted mass media campaigns featuring public figures and celebrities should be deployed.
Websites devoted to birth control and contraception, as well as other reference books available in bookstores can also play a role in educating men about their birth control.
And of course, there is always communication to discuss and talk about reproductive health to your partners about it.