A vasectomy is pretty much the only male specific contraceptive – but that could be about to change.
A male contraceptive is currently being trialled, but before you get excited you should probably know it involves an injection. In the scrotum.
The RISUG (Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance) was originally invented in India in the 1970s, but years of complicated animal and human trials have delayed it being available to the public.
The treatment sees a doctor inject a synthetic gel called Vasalgel into a tube just outside the testicle. And it’s expected to last around a decade.
The gel acts as a filter, preventing sperm from passing through.
The process is completely reversible, simple by injecting sodium bicarbonate into the same spot, which dissolves the gel.
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.’
If you’re thinking of joining the queue for the injection you should probably know the phase III clinical trials were abandoned in 2002 because of an ‘undisclosed side effect’.
But, there have been no reports of Vasalgel not being an effective contraception.