The contraceptive market may not be precisely narrow, but there are obviously some limitations to the options out there. Primarily because of convenience, most contraceptive methods focus on the woman, while the man doesn’t have all that many options. Other than condoms and a vasectomy, there really isn’t much a man to do for contraception.
And of course, seeing how vasectomies are generally one-way, and that they are surgical procedures, most guys don’t actually want to go for that. Meanwhile, condoms, while the most convenient contraceptive method out there, aren’t always 100 percent safe. So, a team of scientists from the Parsemus Foundation came up with a non-hormonal reversible male contraceptive method that will most likely come out in 2018.
Vasalgel has so far proven to be 100 percent effective in rabbits, with human trials bound to start sometime this year. If the Foundation has its way, we might see the product on shelves by 2018. And it might sound good so far, but there is one thing about Vasalgel that might turn people away from it – it’s injectable.
Of course, comparable to a vasectomy, a single shot is a walk in the park, but some might not be comfortable taking a needle to their private regions. Still, if the product actually works as advertised, plenty of men might put their needle reservations aside in order to partake in condom-free sex.
The product is a high molecular weight polymer, which injected straight into the vas deferens block the sperm from moving forward. So far, the animal testing is going great, with rabbits undergoing the treatment showing no signs of sperm in their semen for 29 days after the injection.
So how does this new contraception method work? Basically, it works like a filter. While still microscopic, sperm cells are a bit bigger than water molecules. The injected gel acts pretty much like a filter, allowing liquids like semen and urine to pass through, but blocking the passage of the sperm cells, which are then reabsorbed into the body.
The procedure is one-shot, only requiring a single administration of the polymer gel for a so far indeterminate amount of time. If the man has a change of heart and decides that he wants children, a single subsequent injection would dissolve the barrier formed by the gel and allow for conception to be once again possible.
Even better is the fact that the procedure non-hormonal, messing in no way with the body other than preventing sperm from passing through. Hopefully, the developers will get everything right and release the product according to their planned timeline.
Image source: Wikimedia