In a world with endless options, why are there limited options when it comes to male birth control? There are a myriad of options for women, but what about the men? With an increased demand for male birth control alternatives, Vasalgel just might be the answer we’ve all been waiting for.
How Vasalgel Works
Vasalgel is a high molecular weight polymer being developed in the United States as a contraceptive device for men. How Vaslgel works is a man injects it directly into the vas deferens, which blocks the sperm. Once injected, Vasalgel forms a hydrogel that acts like an implant. After this, water soluble molecules can pass thought the gel material, but larger structures, like sperm, are blocked.
- Hormone free
Studies for Vasalgel were performed using New Zealand white rabbits. This study with rabbits as the test subject indicated that Vasalgel is an effective non-hormonal long-acting male contraceptive. Post injection, the rabbits had no sperm in their semen 29 days post injection, and this remained effective for the entire duration of the yearlong study.
Vasalgel is a high molecular weight polymer being developed in the US as a contraceptive device for men. How Vaslgel works is a man injects it directly into the vas deferens, which blocks the sperm.
“Results from our study with rabbits were even better than expected,” said Dr. Donald Waller, lead author of the study and Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Vasalgel produces a very rapid contraceptive effect which lasted throughout the study due to its unique hydrogel properties. These features are important considerations for a contraceptive product to be used in humans.”
The Problem With Access to Birth Control
An estimated 85 million unintended pregnancies occur annually worldwide, with half ending in abortion and 13% in miscarriage. So why is this? Even when birth control is available, this access may only be temporary. For some, they may have a lack of access to a product or prescription, or a method of birth control may be discontinued due to unfavorable side effects.
Current Male Birth Control
- Condoms (18% failure rate)
- Spermicide (28% failure rate)
- Withdraw (22% failure rate)
- Vasectomy (often permanent and expensive)
Despite the need and demand for an effective male contraceptive, no product has been successfully introduced to the market. Sure, men can wear a condom or get a vasectomy, but vasectomy is a serious, and often irreversible, choice.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled—the goal is to have Vasalgel hit the market by 2018 after further testing.