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Relationship: Five Ways A Husband Can Help With Family Planning

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Engaging men in family planning is a personal issue for the XY-chromosomed human specie. Some men are passionately on board, and others find it uncomfortable, risky or inequitable. Even though family planning is often regarded as the woman’s responsibility, there is growing recognition of the importance of men in family planning programs as many women would like their male partners to be more involved.In contrast to the current situation with women, there are currently many more birth control options available to women, including pills, patches, sponges, injections, IUDs and vaginal rings. This may be one reason why men have been rarely involved in family planning in the past. Currently, men have mainly five options for birth control: vasectomy, condoms, abstinence, withdrawal and other sexual activity that keeps sperm out of the vagina.1. Vasectomy
A vasectomy is surgery to cut the vas deferens. These are the tubes that carry a sperm from testicles (where sperm is produced) to the opening on the penis. After a vasectomy, sperm cannot move out of the testes. A man who has had a successful vasectomy cannot make a woman pregnant. Vasectomy may be recommended for men who are sure they do not want to get a woman pregnant in the future. A vasectomy is not recommended as a short-term form of birth control as the procedure to reverse a vasectomy is a much more complicated operation.2. Condoms
Everyone knows about the thin layer of latex worn on a man’s erect penis during intercourse. The beauty of condoms lie in its dual purpose of restricting transmission of microorganisms and preventing pregnancy. Condoms are the only convenient method of birth control for men that are not permanent. They can be purchased at most drugstores and do not cost a lot.3. Abstinence
Abstinence is not having sex. A man who decides to practice abstinence has decided not to have sex or any type of intimate sexual contact. This can be particularly difficult for men, especially when they are at the peak of their sexual maturity. This is usually not a viable option in marriages as this restricts intimacy between couples and mostly ends in frustration.4. Withdrawal
The withdrawal method of contraception, also known as coitus interruptus, is the practice of withdrawing the penis from the vagina and away from a woman’s external genitals before ejaculation to prevent pregnancy. The goal of the withdrawal method is to prevent sperm from entering the vagina. Using the withdrawal method for birth control requires self-control. Even then, the withdrawal method isn’t an especially effective form of birth control. Sperm may enter the vagina if withdrawal isn’t properly timed or if pre-ejaculation fluid contains sperm. As many as 28 out of 100 women who practice the withdrawal method for one year will get pregnant. The withdrawal method doesn’t offer protection from sexually transmitted infections.5. Alternative Sexual Activities
Couples can engage in alternatives for intimacy and engage in sexual activities that are rewarding for both of them. Both participants can be encouraged to use their hands, mouth and words to bring sexual pleasure to their partners rather than focusing solely on the vagina and penis. This can be easily practiced by couples with prior discussions and agreements but it is not designed to be a lasting or permanent solution, but rather s short fix for a finite period of time.Photo Credit: Getty

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