Could this be the best birth control out there?
In early 2010, the Parsemus Foundation purchased the rights to begin studying the male birth control Vasalgel (called RISUG in India) and according to their website, “Since then a contract manufacturer has been selected to make the polymer to FDA requirements; technology transfer work has been completed; a rabbit study has been started … the goal is to have it on the market as an alternative to vasectomy as early as 2015, with the first clinical trial beginning by the end of this year.” They also announced earlier this month that almost a full six months of sperm counts are in from the rabbit study, “and all of the rabbits are still free of live sperm,” which means they still plan to start clinical trials “by the end of this year.” But what is Vasalgel and how does it work? Techcitement explains,
A doctor applies some local anesthetic, makes a small pinhole in the base of the scrotum, reaches in with a pair of very thin forceps, and pulls out the small white vas deferens tube. Then, the doctor injects the polymer gel (called Vasalgel here in the US), pushes the vas deferens back inside, repeats the process for the other vas deferens, puts a Band-Aid over the small hole, and the man is on his way … The chemicals themselves cost less than the syringe used to administer them. But the science of what happens next is the really fascinating part.
The two common chemicals — styrene maleic anhydride and dimethyl sulfoxide — form a polymer that thickens over the next 72 hours, much like a pliable epoxy, but the purpose of these chemicals isn’t to harden and block the vas deferens. Instead, the polymer lines the wall of the vas deferens and allows sperm to flow freely down the middle (this prevents any pressure buildup), and because of the polymer’s pattern of negative/positive polarization, the sperm are torn apart through the polyelectrolytic effect. On a molecular level, it’s what supervillains envision will happen when they stick the good guy between two huge magnets and flip the switch.
With one little injection, this non-toxic jelly will sit there for 10+ years without you having to do anything else to not have babies. Set it and forget it. Oh, and when you do decide you want those babies, it only takes one other injection of water and baking soda to flush out the gel, and within two to three months, you’ve got all your healthy sperm again.
What do you think?
Would you use this as a form of birth control?