Expect Vasalgel Birth Control Injections for Men in 2018
It seems like everyday there is a new study or development regarding birth control for men. Vasalgel, which is a reversible male birth control, is on the path to being available for all men come 2018 due to a successful study.
How Vasalgel works is it’s a gel which is injected into the testes and blocks sperm from leaving the vas deferens, similar to a vasectomy, but only temporary. The study featured 12 male rabbits who were injected with Vasalgel, and 11 were found to be “azoospermic,” meaning completely without sperm in their semen for an entire year after the injection. Researchers believe the length of effectiveness could be even longer for human men, which might be good news for guys who don’t want to get injected “down there” on a regular basis.
“We expect [that time frame] to be similar in men, but that is just a minimum,” said Elaine Lissner, executive director of the Parsemus Foundation, the organization behind Vasalgel, to Cosmopolitan.com.
“It seems to be pretty durable; we expect it to last for years. We just don’t know how many yet.”
What also makes Vasalgel a high contender in the male birth control market is it’s reversible. With the rabbits, scientists flushed the gel, using a second injection, from seven of the rabbits, and their “semen samples showed a rapid return of sperm flow.”
Vasalgel will conduct its first human male trial, and according to Lissner, it could take place later this year and last for six months. What needs to take place during the human trials is physicians will have to be trained on how to administer the injection. Lissner believes physicians who do no-scalpel vasectomies will be the perfect people to do Vasalgel because the procedures are similar.
One problem which has effected Vasalgel is funding because it’s expensive to develop a new birth control option.
“Funding is still an issue,” said Lissner. “We are set to move forward for six months to a year, but then the numbers get really big for the clinical trials.”
The plan is for Parsemus to bring in more investors, and Lissner is confident enough money will be raised.
“There are so many men who want this so badly. The support is going to be there.”
In the coming years, it’ll be interesting to see how many men will take a male birth control and where it will be offered.