The end of vasectomies? Injectable gel could provide temporary birth control for men

Not ready for a vasectomy? A new injectable gel may provide men with a temporary option for contraception.

Scientists in San Francisco at the Parsemus Foundation are developing a substance called Vasalgel. It can be used as an injectable barrier that seals the small tube called the vas deferens that carries sperm to be ejaculated. The gel acts like a filter that stops the sperm from travelling forward while allowing other fluids through. The contraceptive method would require a procedure much like a non-scalpel vasectomy where gel is inserted into the vas deferens.

The product is being promoted as an easily reversible alternative to a vasectomy. When or if a man is ready to conceive, another injection is used to flush out the gel and restore fertility.

Male fertility expert and co-director of The Pur Clinic, Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, is open to new contraception options for men, but is cautious about this particular method because the injection site is so small. He is concerned that scarring from the injection of the gel could stop a reversal from being successful.  He says:

“Since there’s no long-term data on this, there’s no guarantee about the effectiveness of a reversal.”

Clinical trials of the effectiveness of the gel are currently underway.

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