When it comes to birth control, men have only two options: “wrap it up” or “snip snip.” (Ouch! Men aren’t too pleased with the latter; plus vasectomies aren’t cheap.) Now, science is close to unveiling four new male contraceptives, according to research reported by Health.com. Here’s a glance at some promising possibilities:

Dry Orgasm
The concept is simple: no semen + no sperm = no pregnancy. In 2006, researchers from Kings College in London found that one of the side effects of several drugs for other conditions created “dry orgasms” in men. Researchers believe that if they create a similar drug specifically for male contraception, it could be taken a few hours before intercourse, with effects wearing off after 12 to 24 hours.

Birth Control Pill for Men
Researchers from Columbia University discovered a nonhormonal drug that worked as a contraceptive in mice. Can it work for men? We’ll soon see.

Testosterone Cream and Progestin Shots
In 2007, at the Future of Male Contraception Conference, researchers from the University of Washington announced the results of a study that required men get progestin (a female hormone) shots every three months and use testosterone (a male hormone) gel daily. The regimen was an effective contraceptive—but less than half the participants liked it.

Removable Vasectomy
Results from the first U.S study of the “Intra Vas Device,” a removable plug that acts like a vasectomy, showed effectiveness as a contraceptive. When used short-term in animals, the plug did not jeopardize future fertility. But researchers said they needed additional human studies to determine long-term effects.  

In the meantime, it’s possible to have a no-scalpel vasectomy (a procedure that severs and ties the sperm-carrying ducts in the testicles). In this case, a pinprick incision requires no stitches and causes less bleeding and scarring.   

Are you and your partner considering nixing condoms? Read the advice of RH sexpert Gail Wyatt, PhD.