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“There is no reason why this burden should rest only on my girlfriend”

“I am not a model man. I’m just taking my share ”, says Guillaume Daudin straight away. Like a few thousand men in France, this 35-year-old journalist has chosen a male contraception other than the condom. In recent years, if we have observed a timid evolution of mores and mentalities on this subject, contraception remains, in an ultramajoritaire way, a “women’s affair”. Why ? This is the question at the origin of his graphic novel Contraceptives: investigation of the last taboo (Steinkis éditions, 160 pages, 19 euros), co-written with his colleague Stéphane Jourdain and drawn by Caroline Lee.

The project, says Guillaume Daudin, arises from his personal story:

“Three years ago, my partner was pregnant; the question then arose of the contraceptive method that we would use afterwards. Contraception is a couple’s story. There is no reason why this burden should rest solely on my girlfriend. So I wondered what was out there for me. “

Read also Male contraception: what methods are available in France?

The High Authority for Health (HAS) in France lists three contraceptive solutions for men, but these all have limitations:

  • the male condom, very reliable if used correctly, is often considered too restrictive;
  • withdrawal, which however has a “High failure rate”, underlines the HAS;
  • vasectomy, an operation that cuts off the vas deferens that carry sperm from the testes, making a man sterile. The definitive nature of this intervention is frightening and the practice remains very marginal in France. Even if there is an operation to reconstruct the vas deferens, vasovasostomy, but the possibility of reversing the process is not guaranteed.

None of these possibilities then convinces Guillaume Daudin. He then discovers two other solutions which, although they have proven their effectiveness, are still little known and little used: male hormonal and thermal contraception.

Guillaume Daudin, 35-year-old journalist who made the choice to use the male contraceptive ring, at his home in Paris, November 23, 2021.

“A simple matter of habit”

The first, validated by the World Health Organization (WHO), consists of weekly testosterone injections, which decreases the production of sperm until sterility. It takes about three months to achieve the desired contraceptive effect. The method is reversible: once the treatment is stopped, the testes take three to six months to make enough sperm again.

The thermal method consists of slightly increasing the temperature of the testicles thanks to body heat: a suitable underwear or a simple silicone ring allows them to be raised outside the scrotum. This is enough to bring them from 35 ° C to 37 ° C, thus interrupting the production of sperm. To be effective, this device must be worn fifteen hours a day, seven days a week. After three months of use, the man becomes infertile and the process is reversible. This method of contraception is not recognized by the WHO or by the French Ministry of Health. It is however considered reliable and without side effects by the French Association of urology.

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