- Researchers touting successful results of new male contraceptive gel
- They said it is less invasive than vasectomy, has fewer side effects
- Next phase is testing whether process could be fully reversible
Researchers are touting the results of a new experimental male contraceptive gel after a successful trial run using primates.
The new contraceptive, Vasalgel, works by being injected into the vas deferens where it blocks sperm from traveling outside.
According to the study published in the journal Basic and Clinic Andrology, there were zero incidents of conception among primates who were injected with Vasalgel.
“Intravas injection of Vasalgel in sexually mature adult male rhesus monkeys was effective in preventing conception in a free-living, group environment. Complications were few and similar to those associated with traditional vasectomy,” the study concluded.
Catherine VandeVoort, the lead author of the study, is hopeful that Vasalgel would be as effective in humans.
“One of the great things about the monkey model is that the male reproductive tract is very similar to humans and they have even more sperm than humans do,” she told the Guardian. “Chances are, it’s going to be effective in humans.”
Vandevoort also said Vasalgel could be an appealing alternative for men as it is less invasive than vasectomy and offers fewer side-effects than hormonal jabs or pills.
The biggest selling point, she pointed out, however, would be the reversibility of the process — which is something they want to find out in the next phase of the experiment.
“Men’s options for contraception have not changed much in decades. There’s vasectomy, which is poorly reversible, and condoms. If they knew they could get a reliable contraceptive that could also be reversed I think it would be appealing to them. “They wouldn’t have to worry about it on a day-to-day basis. This would be more akin to an IUD the coil in women.”