Injectable Contraceptive for Men Passes Clinical Trials, Awaits Approval in India
Designed to replace surgical vasectomies, its effectiveness lasts 13 years.
The race to develop the first, injectable form of male contraceptive has reached India.
Though many Indian men do feel it’s a notion too “graphic” to consider, the Hindustan Times reports that the Indian Council of Medical Research, a government-funded biomedical research agency, has successfully completed a clinical trial on an injectable male contraceptive.
Awaiting regulatory approval from the Indian government, Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance (RISUG), is made of a compound called Styrene Maleic Anhydride and is effective for at least 13 years once injected.
A sperm blocker, RISUG has been in development since 1984, and its latest round of clinical trials saw 303 candidates recruited, with a 97.3% success rate, and no reported side effects.
The injectable product has been compared to America’s Vasalgel, the Parsemus Foundation’s gel-based, no-scalpel vasectomy alternative. Vasalgel is injected into the vas deferens, and if a man wishes to restore the flow of sperm, after months or years, the polymer can be dissolved and flushed out.
The only unique differences between Vasalgel and RISUG is that RISUG has been in development four-times as long as Vasalgel, and also has a finite, defined length of effectiveness.
Regarding RISUG’s marketplace potential, VG Somani, the drug controller general of India, said:
It’s the first in the world from India so we have to be extra careful about approval. We are looking at all aspects, especially the good manufacturing practice (GMP) certification that won’t raise any questions about its quality.
Ultimately, The Indian Council of Medical Research will potentially need to wait six to seven months for all the approvals to be granted before the product can be manufactured.
Is the Indian marketplace ready for RISUG? Given that the 2015-16 Indian National Family Health Survey shows that 12000% more Indian women opt for sterilization as compared to Indian men opting for a vasectomy, there certainly seems to be a marketplace for this solution.
Dr. Anup Kumar, Safdarjun Hospital’s head of urology and renal transplants, is also hopeful.
“Non-surgical procedures are always preferred over surgical procedures because they will be safer and less invasive. More men are likely to opt for it,” he said.
However, when queried by VICE in regards to their interest in the gel-based injection, a 33-year-old gentleman named Abhay stated:
Our [testicles] are like family jewels, so if I have to resort to using any kind of contraceptive, I’d rather go for a pill.
In another opinion, Shreyes, 24, was a fan of male contraception to ease the burden of pregnancy or abortion from women, but, “thinks an injection may be too much for men.” His final answer when asked to choose between having sex with a RISUG injection or celibacy? “[I’d]rather not have sex at all.”
Image source: mariananbu