Nearly 2 in 3 married women across the world use contraception to prevent pregnancy.
The United Nations specifically reports this information as women who take contraception – not couples or families. While science may be working towards male birth control, these options aren’t currently available and may take years to develop fully.
We surveyed 1,000 Europeans and Americans about their perceptions of birth control, and whom they felt was responsible for using contraception. We also looked at the side effects women most commonly experienced and what men would be willing to endure, and if men would be willing to give birth in place of their partners. Want to know what they told us? Continue reading to find out.
The Challenges of Childbirth
If using birth control isn’t always easy, pregnancy and childbirth should be considered an Olympic event. From everything that leads up to childbirth to the emotional roller coaster that can come after, we asked American and European men if they’d be willing to give birth in place of their partners.
It turns out only 26 percent of men would take on the challenge of childbirth. While 1 in 4 European men were up for the experience, more men in the U.S. did not want anything to do with birthing a child, physics and anatomy aside.
Interestingly, though, men's relationship statuses did help sway their minds when it came to bearing a child. Nearly a third of men who were married were willing to give birth in place of their partners, while less than 1 in 4 men in relationships agreed. Single men were the least willing to take on the challenge, with less than 1 in 5 telling us they were up for the task.
The Responsibility of Safe Sex
When it came to who was responsible for birth control, most men and women across Europe and the U.S. believed the burden fell on both parties. While slightly more than 1 in 10 women said birth control was their responsibility, 1 in 10 men believed birth control was a woman's obligation. Still, a majority of men (81 percent) and women (86 percent) said it was the responsibility of both partners.
Accessing birth control in the U.K. can require multiple visits by women to their general practitioner every year, and 1 in 10 men believed men should pay for birth control. However, 89 percent of women and 84 percent of men said birth control should be an equal opportunity expense.
Further, women were more inclined to feel in control when they were responsible for birth control, while men were more likely to be neutral on the subject.
Birth Control Experiences
Birth control isn’t always easy. From the emotional side effects to the physical ones, preventing an untimely pregnancy can be a challenge.
While more than half of women surveyed reported experiencing mood swings while using birth control, less than a fourth of men would be willing to endure those same mood shifts. Birth control can also lead to other emotional and physical side effects. Over a quarter of women experienced depression or anxiety, yet only 9 percent of men were willing to experience the same thing.
Additionally, fewer men were willing to experience all of the symptoms we referenced, including fluctuating weight, a loss of their sex drive, or unpredictable bleeding than the women who experienced these symptoms.
Putting a Stop to Birth Control
While men may not be interested in male contraception, what reasons would men and women find acceptable for stopping a birth control method? Are uncomfortable and sometimes serious physical and mental side effects reason enough?
Sixty percent of women said serious reactions like blood clots (thrombosis) would cause them to forego their birth control, while only 50 percent of men agreed. Similarly, 56 percent of women said experiencing depression or anxiety would make them stop using birth control, while 50 percent of men concurred.
In fact, men and women didn’t really see eye to eye when it came to good reasons for quitting birth control.
Satisfaction With Safe Sex
Our survey found men were less satisfied than their female counterparts by their birth control methods.
Women were the most satisfied using an IUD (78 percent), which is more than 99 percent effective and can last several years before needing to be removed or replaced. More than two-thirds of women using spermicide or implants were also very satisfied with their birth control, but significantly fewer men agreed.
When it came to the pill, men were more likely to be very satisfied than women. Even though the pill can cause women to experience mood swings, migraines, nausea, and hair loss, 60 percent of men were very satisfied with the pill, compared to 57 percent of women. Interestingly enough, more women were satisfied with their partner’s “pull-out method” (44 percent) than men themselves (38 percent).
Men were the least satisfied with using the sponge for birth control, while women were the least satisfied with the patch.
However, the birth control methods that both genders were most equally satisfied with were the morning-after pill, condom, and vaginal ring.
ConclusionWhile birth control has radically changed modern living, men mostly admitted they wouldn’t handle the mental or physical side effects of contraception. However, married men seemed to be particularly sympathetic towards their partners and were willing to take one for the team and experience childbirth.
Time will only tell if birth control will become the equal responsibility of men and women. Until then, accessing contraception should always be as easy and convenient as possible. At zavamed.com, we help support your sexual health needs. In fact, our team makes it easy for patients to communicate with our online doctors and manage their online prescriptions. We do the work for you, so you never have to miss a beat. Visit us online to learn more about our health services today.
MethodologyWe surveyed 500 Americans and 500 Europeans about their experience and knowledge of contraceptive methods.
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