Test Your Knowledge: Male Birth Control Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

The female birth control pill has been around for decades, and many men would like to share the contraceptive responsibility. But despite the lingering promise of non-barrier, reversible male birth control options, the FDA has yet to approve any. As we wait for male birth control to become a reality, test your knowledge of its development so far.

How many sperm, on average, are contained in the average male ejaculate?

Although the amount of sperm in ejaculate varies widely, about 120 million are released on average when a man climaxes.

Planned Parenthood cites how many forms of contraception for men?

Although a birth control pill for men doesn't exist yet, Planned Parenthood lists five forms of male contraception: abstinence, condoms, outercourse, vasectomy and withdrawal.

Testing with hormonal birth control for men has focused on escalating levels of what hormone in the male body?

The presence of testosterone signals to the testes that they've produced enough sperm. By keeping testosterone levels in the bloodstream higher than normal, it tricks the testes into thinking its sperm coffers are full.

At which point in their journey through the male reproductive anatomy are sperm able to swim?

Sperm aren't born swimmers. Not until the they pass through the epididymis -- the long, coiled tube that connects the testis to the vas deferens -- are they able to doggy paddle their way out of the penis.

Testosterone-based hormonal birth control for men would likely be adminstered in what form?

In the mid-2000s, hormonal male birth control based on a testosterone implant was under development -- until pharmaceutical companies pulled the plug on funding.

Roughly what percentage of pregnancies in the United States are unintended?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended.

In 2011, Columbia University researchers found a connection between male infertility and what vitamin?

Columbia University genetics professor Debra Wolgemuth ran across a compound that prevents the body from breaking down vitamin A, effectively shutting down sperm production in mice.

One shot of (in-development) VasalGel male birth control in the vas deferens can work up to how long?

According to laboratory testing so far, an injection of VasalGel will kill sperm traveling through the vas deferens for 10, or even 15, years.

Which of the following hasn't been floated as a potentially viable male birth control option?

After decades of hunting for a form of long-term, non-barrier, reversible birth control, scientists have tested a lot of options, but freezing the interior of the testicles hasn't been one of them.

In 2008, what percentage of men said they'd be willing to take a hormonal contraceptive?

Compared to a 1997 survey, which found more than two-thirds of men willing to try birth control, the 2008 survey only garnered a 36 percent positive response rate. This may indicate a growing impatience over the wait for a viable option to hit the market.

The epididymus, which connects the testes to the vas deferens, is how long?

Sperm must need plenty of room to learn how to swim, because the tightly coiled epididymus is an astonishing 16 feet long.

In 2010, the birth control pill for women turned how old?

The FDA approved "the pill" in 1960, but wasn't freely available to married and unmarried women until 1978. In 2010, it celebrated its 50th birthday!

During the 1900s, vasectomies were forcibly performed on all but which group of men?

Forcible sterilization of the criminally insane and mentally ill marked one of the darker chapters in American medical history. During the early 1900s, enforced vasectomies on specific groups of men grew out of the early eugenics movement.

Today in the United States, about how many men over 35 years old have had a vasectomy?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 in 6 men in the U.S. over the age of 35 has had a vasectomy. The World Health Organization cites sterilization, including vasectomies and tubal ligation, as the most common form of birth control around the world.

What percentage of men remain fertile even after undergoing a vasectomy?

Sometimes, vasectomies don't completely take, and men who've had them can still impregnate women. Statistically, however, this happens in only 1 percent of vasectomy patients.

A hormonal male birth control likely would not affect what?

Although male birth control could help lower the rates of unintended pregnancy and the rates of female infertility as a potential long-term side effect of female hormonal birth control, it will not protect against contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

True or false: Using two condoms during intercourse is more effective than one when it comes to preventing unintended pregnancy.

Often, two is better than one -- except in the case of condom use! Wearing two condoms actually increases the risk of one or both tearing during intercourse due to friction.

Which of the following contraceptive methods can potentially increase the risk of HIV transmission?

According to sexual health resources from Columbia University, the chemical nonoxynol-9 (N-9), common in many spermicidal lubricants, can cause vaginal irritation and potentially increase the risk of HIV transmission.

Statistically, which of the following is the most effective form of contraceptive currently available on the market?

According to Planned Parenthood, fewer than 1 women in 100 using an intrauterine device (IUD) will become pregnant within a year, compared to 2 to 9 per 100 for the pill and 15 to 24 per 100 with male condoms.

When will the FDA likely approve male birth control for sale in the United States?

For years now, pharmaceutical companies have promised that non-barrier, reversible male birth control is on the way, yet no options have achieved FDA approval. At this point, it's uncertain if and when a pill, patch, implant or gel for men will arrive.

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