Male birth control methods could come sooner than expected as a preclinical trial has shown the contraceptive called Vasalgel to be effective while also being reversible. The reversible birth control injection focused on treating men is still under development by the Parsemus Foundation.

The executive director of the Parsemus Foundation, Elaine Lissner claims that Vasalgel will be available no later than 2018. This is a new age in the medicine world, as males will soon be able to use birth control injections, as reported in the Basic and Clinical Andrology journal.

the US-based Parsemus Foundation, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of “finding low-cost solutions neglected by the pharmaceutical industry,” is currently focusing on a slightly different birth control injection called Vasalgel which has a better chance of going to market in the US. Credit: Motherboard

The preclinical trials involved the study of rabbits and their sexual capacity when injected the Vasalgel contraceptive. The trials revealed how Vasalgel was able to stop the sperm flow in rabbits, therefore showing efficacy as a birth control method. Even though trials show promising results, there’s still much left to do before going into human trials.

The study was based on the trial of 12 rabbits after being injected with the gel into the rabbits’ vas deferens. After studying the rabbits injected with Vasalgel, 11 out of 12 showed to lack sperm in their semen analysis. While all but one of the rabbits showed to be lacking sperm in their semen samples after being injected with the gel, the remaining rabbit didn’t have significant amounts of sperm in the samples either. The last subject also became azoospermic, meaning there was no trace of sperm in its semen at all.

Basically, the contraceptive injection contains a high molecular weight polymer and is described by Lissner as a long-acting and non-hormonal male contraceptive. Although the way this works may tense its potential users, due to the location of the injection in order to stop the flow of sperm properly, Vasalgel would be injected into the vas deferens, a vessel in the penis.

Before going to human trials

Nevertheless, there is still much research to do before stepping into human trials, and all that it would take to get there. Still, the results from the preclinical trials published by Basic and Clinical Andrology could lead researchers to develop a way for men to enjoy sex without condoms, and without worrying.

According to Lissner, the ongoing development of Vasalgel is set to replace the current vasectomy methods, which need patients to undergo surgery, and the procedure isn’t reversible either. According to Lissner, the procedure could even last for years, or, at least, one.

The way it works with the contraceptive injection developed by the Parsemus Foundation is that gel creates a barrier, stopping sperm from going with the flow. In preclinical trials, however, scientists were able to flush the gel out of the subject’s system. As a result, the sperm flowing picked up its pace in a rather short amount of time.

And even though men can buy condoms and still continue to have casual sex without risks of getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or getting their partner pregnant, it’s not the same. Women’s contraceptive methods are well beyond men’s birth control, no doubt about it, yet it’s different for both men and women.

Source: EurekAlert