While many female options exist, options for male contraception are few. In general, men have the option of using condoms or getting a vasectomy. A topical gel in human trials this year is promising, reports Time, but even if successful “it will likely be at least five years before it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and becomes available to the public.” A study in Basic and Clinical Andrology reports that a high molecular weight polymer is being developed as a contraceptive device for men, and that tests in rhesus monkeys so far have shown 100% effectiveness.
According to the article, 16 adult male rhesus monkeys received intravas injections of Vasalgel™ and returned to their housing with breeding females after a one-week recovery period. The abstract reports that “Treated males have had no conceptions since Vasalgel injections. All males were housed with intact females for at least one breeding season and seven have been almost continually housed with females for 2 years.” The product has also been successfully tested on rabbits.
Of course, more research is needed. The sample size was relatively small and this study did not include reversing the procedure for fertility testing. Rabbits in prior tests, however, did successfully reproduce after the gel was removed using ultrasound.
- A Male Birth Control Gel Proved 100% Effective in A Recent Trial
- The contraceptive efficacy of intravas injection of Vasalgel™ for adult male rhesus monkeys
- Birth Control for Men? Researchers Will Test a Hormone Gel in 2018
Thanks to Soror Madimi for the tip!