For literal centuries, most of the responsibility for long-term birth control solutions has fallen on female shoulders. And even though the side effects of non-barrier contraceptives range from annoying to life threatening, women have done it because being able to have some semblance of control over what happens to our bodies and lives is important.
That said, I imagine many females around the globe will heave a sigh of relief at hearing a male birth control method is on the horizon.
The Indian Council of Medical Research has announced the end of clinical trials for the world’s first injectable contraceptive for men, a treatment that’s now awaiting approval by the governing body in India. If approved, it could be available within with next 6-7 months.
“The product is ready, with only regulatory approvals pending with the Drugs Controller. The trials are over, including extended, phase 3 clinical trials for which 303 candidates were recruited with 97.3 percent success rate and no reported side effects,” confirmed Dr. RS Sharma, the senior researcher who led the trials.
It lasts up to 13 years and is a non-surgical alternative to a vasectomy.
So here’s how it works: a polymer is injected directly into the vas deferens, which are little tubes outside of the testicles that transport sperm to the penis for ejaculation.
Don’t worry, guys, they totally numb the area first, and the recovery time is nothing compared to a vasectomy.
The polymer coats the inside of the vas deferens and, basically, destroys the sperm as it goes through. And it’s completely reversible. Speaking of which, the procedure/product is called reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance (RISUG), and it “can safely be called the world’s first male contraceptive.”
Indian scientists have been working on making this moment a reality since the 1970s and have persevered through a number of setbacks to make it to today.
The market for a product like this has been increasing in recent years, and more offerings are likely to be offered in the near future – one of which is a gel rubbed onto the shoulders that causes a decrease in sperm production.
However it ends up happening, though, I know I’m not alone in believing it’s high time men shouldered some of the responsibility for not making babies. However they choose to do it, it’ll be nice for them to be able to take control in some situations, too.