Birth control is often up to the female partner in a relationship. But there are several safe and effective birth control options available just for men. Here is an overview of the most common types of male birth control. Male Birth Control: Condoms Condoms are one of the most common forms of birth control. Sometimes called a “rubber,” a condom is a thin, plastic or latex covering that fits snugly over your penis. It prevents pregnancy by physically blocking semen from getting into the vagina where it can fertilize an egg. Condoms can be up to 98% effective at preventing pregnancy when you use them correctly every time you have sex. In addition to preventing pregnancy, condoms are the only form of birth control that can protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Condoms can work for vaginal, anal and oral sex. In addition to preventing pregnancy and STDs, there are other benefits to using condoms: Condoms are easy to get—you can purchase them at grocery stores, drugstores, vending machines, and health clinics. Condoms are inexpensive—they cost about a dollar each and are sometimes free at health clinics. Condoms don't affect overall fertility—a woman can get pregnant when not using a condom, assuming she isn't using any other type of birth control. However, not everyone likes using condoms because: Condoms can reduce spontaneity since you have to stop and put it on before you have sex. Condoms may decrease sexual sensations. Condoms can only be used with water-based lubricants. Condoms can tear without warning; never open a condom package with your teeth! Condoms may not work if you don’t put them on correctly. Male Birth Control: Vasectomy A vasectomy is a permanent and effective (99%) way to prevent pregnancy. It is a surgical procedure in which a surgeon cuts the tube that carries sperm from your testicle to your penis. You will still produce sperm after you have a vasectomy. But it cannot move out of your testicles and through your penis during ejaculation. There is no measurable decrease in the amount of seminal fluid released during male orgasm; there is just no sperm. Family practitioners or a doctor called a urologist may perform a vasectomy. Urologists are doctors who specialize in treating the genitourinary tract, which includes the genitals. The procedure costs $350-$1000; most insurance companies cover the cost of vasectomy. Vasectomy is permanent birth control. A vasectomy frees both partners from having to worry about other birth control methods. While it may be possible to reverse a vasectomy, vasectomy reversal procedures can be costly and complicated. Many times they don't work. Only have a vasectomy if you’re positively sure that you don’t want to have biological children. Vasectomy side effects are usually minor but may include: Granuloma, which is a benign lump at the surgery site Swelling and infection Post-vasectomy pain syndrome, which is chronic pain following a vasectomy Vasectomy does not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Use a condom every time you have sex to prevent STDs. Male Birth Control: Withdrawal Withdrawal, sometimes called “pulling out” or “coitus interruptus," is when a man removes his penis from his partner’s vagina right before he ejaculates. Withdrawal is 82% to 96% effective at preventing pregnancy. Effectiveness depends on your ability to withdraw before releasing any semen in or near the vagina. Withdrawal requires a fair amount of self-control and affects the intimacy of vaginal sex. Withdrawal can be a good birth control option to use when you combine it with other birth control methods, such as a cervical cap, sponge, or natural family planning (rhythm method). Talk to your healthcare provider to learn about your birth control options. Together you can decide the right birth control option.