Vasalgel Injection Shows Promising Results as the Male Contraceptive of the Future
Vasalgel injection is currently undergoing tests to see its viability as the possible contraceptive for men. Gauging from the latest findings, the results so far look quite promising and may hail the long-awaited male pill.
Unlike their female counterparts, men have limited options when it comes to birth control and they either have to use the condom or go for a vasectomy. Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that approximately 18% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 are currently in oral contraceptive.
Ilpo Huhtaniemi, emeritus professor of Reproductive Endocrinology at Imperial College, London states that it only requires 5 to 10% of men to use an oral contraceptive to effectively restrict population growth. Unfortunately, no oral contraceptive has been discovered to date and it means greater dependence on female birth control methods.
Condom use which is mainly preferred by the younger population has been around for quite some time but isn’t very effective considering that they is the likelihood of rupturing or bursting during intercourse. The other option, vasectomy, is more of a permanent solution which is more suited for older men who are done with having kids. According to statistics, trying to reverse the vasectomy has a 50% chance of failure.
Latest reports indicate that there is a high-likelihood of a male contraceptive finding its way into the market within the next few years. This newest finding follow suit on an earlier research that was done on mice in October 2015 by a team of researchers from the University Of Osaka, Japan.
In this study, Haruhiko Miyata and his colleagues identified a protein known as Calcineuron which helped the male sperm swim as well as penetrate the membrane of the ova (female egg).In the lab experiment carried out on mice, it was discovered that blocking this protein hampered the sperm’s swimming ability and reduced its chances of reaching and fertilizing the female egg.
A similar undertaking was also carried out by John Herr, professor of Biomedical Engineering and Cell Biology at the University of Virginia, US, where he discovered that blocking a miniscule filament that plays part in the fusion of the male sperm and female egg could lead to an effective male contraceptive.
The greatest and promising discovery however is Vasalgel which is an injection that works in a similar manner to vasectomy. A polymer is injected inside the tubes that carry sperm and solidifies thus blocking any passage of the male egg which is later reabsorbed into the body system. Unlike vasectomy, the sticky gel can later be reversed by injecting another substance allowing sperm to pass through again.
According to Elaine Lissner, the executive director of the Parsemus Foundation which is the medical research organization developing Vasalgel. The trials have successfully been carried out on rabbits where they regained their fertility after reversing it. However, the results on baboons were not so promising since fertility didn’t return after reversing the procedure.
It is still early to claim that a male contraceptive has finally been discovered since trials are still ongoing in different places, but looking at these latest developments the future looks promising.