News

New male contraceptive may be off-putting for many men

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
The manner in which the contraceptive is given may be a deterrent
The manner in which the contraceptive is given may be a deterrent

Developers of a new method of male contraception are hoping it will hit shelves in less than three years - however, the manner in which it is given may be a huge deterrent for many men.

Scientists have developed a synthetic gel which is non-hormonal and easily reversible.

However, it is injected directly into the testicles.

Vasalgel is directly injected into the passageways that transport sperm, which blocks the release of the sperm and allows other fluids to get through.

Its main advantage over vasectomy is that it will be more readily reversible than vasectomy: if a man wishes to restore fertility, whether after months or years, the polymer would be flushed out of the vas with another injection.
 
"This method could thus be ideal for men who think they are finished having children but would like the chance to change their minds in case of remarriage or the death of a child," their website says.
 
"It could possibly even be appropriate for men who want child-spacing or young men who want to complete their schooling before having children."
 
Aaron Hamlin, executive of the Male Contraceptive Initiative, told Vice: "There's nothing for you as a person to screw up.
 
"When you have a method that doesn't require you to do anything, like Vasalgel, you get the injection into the vas deferens and walk out the door.
 
"After all that's done, when it's time for you to have sex, everything you've had to do is already done."
 
The goal is to have it on the market as an alternative to vasectomy as soon as possible, with a first clinical trial beginning in 2015 or 2016 depending on regulatory approvals.
 
Preclinical studies include 12 months of successful results in rabbits with primate studies ongoing.
 
Vasalgel is being developed as a “social venture,” a company that makes enough money to stay afloat but not to make anybody rich, with affordable pricing and wide availability as its mandate.
 
The foundation sponsoring it is moving fast on getting the first steps done, but won’t have enough money to finish the project and will be turning to the public to crowdfund the clinical trials. 
 
"Human trials are expected to start in 2016 and 2017," the website says. 
 
"If everything goes well and with enough public support, we hope to get Vasalgel on the market as early as 2018."