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6 GIFs Show How Vasalgel Reversible Male Contraceptive Works

Learn about a new vasectomy-like procedure that doesn’t require ‘getting the snip.’

Sperm cannot pass through the Vasalgel barrier in the vas deferens.

Male birth control options are limited. That’s one major reason why there’s been such excitement about Vasalgel, a long-acting and nonhormonal contraceptive for men that has shown promising results in animal trials. Studies reveal the gel injection works safely and effectively in both monkeys and rabbits, and that sperm flow was successfully restored in the rabbit group.

The Parsemus Foundation, which developed Vasalgel, is now dedicating its efforts to bringing the male contraceptive to clinical trials. While it is not yet clear when they will begin, the foundation says it will likely first test Vasalgel on men who no longer want children since a reversibility study in humans has not yet been completed.

For a visual explanation of how the male contraceptive Vasalgel works, check out the animated GIFS below.

1. Access vas deferens

A doctor must gain access to the vas deferens before injecting the male contraceptive Vasalgel.
First, a doctor must gain access to the vas deferens, which is a duct that transports sperm from the testes the urethra.

2. Inject Vasalgel

The polymer hydrogel is injected into the vas deferens to block sperm's passage.
Instead of cutting or tying the vas deferens, a polymer hydrogel is injected into the duct.

3. Semi-permeable barrier forms

Vasagels forms a semi-permeable and flexible barrier in the vas deferens.
Vasalgel’s polymer hydrogel then forms a semi-permeable and flexible barrier to block the flow of sperm. The body then absorbs the blocked sperm.

Sperm cannot pass through the Vasalgel barrier in the vas deferens.
The Vasalgel barrier may allow fluid to pass through and as a result lower the pressure buildup that can happen following traditional vasectomies.

The Parsemus Foundation says that once in place the Vasalgel can remain effective for several years. Also, the procedure does not interfere with orgasm and still allows the ejaculation of seminal fluid—it will just not contain any sperm.

4. Dissolve barrier with injectable solution

A solution can be injected at any time to dissolve the Vasalgel barrier and restore sperm flow.
To re-open the vas deferens and restore sperm flow, a solution is injected to dissolve the Vasalgel barrier. In the rabbit study, the gel was flushed out by injecting a solution of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

5. Sperm flow returns

The free flow of sperm returns after the Vasalgel barrier is flushed out.
Following the reversal, the free flow of sperm returns. However, before Vasalgel can be marketed toward men as a reversible contraceptive, a reversibility study must be successfully completed.

The Parsemus Foundation website offers regular updates on its progress along with a wealth of informative resources. You can also visit the website if you want to sign up for its mailing list or learn more about signing up for clinical trials.

Image sources: Parsemus Foundation

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