Condom-Free Male Contraceptive Is Coming Soon
Men may have access to cheap, safe, long-lasting birth control in the near future.
Contraception has always been one of the great mood killers for both men and women.
Yet issues of sexual health often force women unwillingly into the role of gatekeeper. From diaphragms and patches, to IUDs and injections, females bear the brunt of this burden. The methods can be costly, inconvenient, and sometimes even unsafe.
However, by 2017 men may be able to take a more proactive role in birth prevention. A safe, side-effect free male contraceptive could be available in just a few short years with the release of Vasalgel.
Calling for donations, it revealed some of its research testing the procedure on baboons. By injecting a microscopic non-hormonal polymer into the vas deferens, Vasalgel works to block sperm flow.
According to the foundation, it's essentially a no-scalpel vasectomy. The single treatment process is easy to reverse, requiring only a second injection to flush out the gel.
The Daily Beast is also reporting that unlike many forms of female contraception, Vasalgel lacks significant hormonal side effects. Testosterone production remains unaffected, and ejaculation appears unchanged as the fluid is primarily produced in the seminal vesicles and prostate gland.
Another key point of difference is the cost. While many other forms of birth control are difficult to afford or need constant replacement, Vasalgel’s creators are aiming to keep the price point low. Selling it cheap will allow for widespread access, helping men to take charge of their family planning.
While the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is working to create a better condom, Vasalgel might be the future of pregnancy prevention. The research being done by the Parsemus Foundation may alter the sexual landscape for men as profoundly as the pill did for women.
With an intended commercial release date of 2017, human testing is set to commence next year. Despite what some would perceive as a painful procedure, thousands have already signed up to a waiting list for Vasalgel’s clinical trials, according to a New York Times op-ed from the director of the Parsemus Foundation, Elaine Lissner.
Many men are understandably excited. Having a full sense of control over reproduction is just on the horizon.
Unfortunately, the timeline for approving medical devices for the market can stretch to over a decade. While public interest is strong, getting this new contraceptive into the hands of consumers in less than three years may be overambitious.
Soon, it'll hopefully be coming to a bedroom near you, and all it’ll take is a single needle.
Would you be interested in receiving a Vasalgel injection?
Image source: Male Contraception Information Project