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Male birth control: Men would you try it?

Long Story Short

  • Vasalgel is a Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive for men.
  • A gel is injected into the vas deference blocking sperm from being released.
  • No human trials yet
  • No hormones involved
  • So far, no adverse effects in rabbit trials
  • Its reversible!

Here we go, another attempt at male birth control

A few weeks ago I wrote about a form of male contraception using hormones, and that was a no-go given the adverse effects (Depression, acne, mood disorders..)

But now a new approach to male birth control called Vasalgel is gaining some news.

What’s Vasalgel? Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC)

Vasalgel is a polymer gel that is injected into the vas deferens (this is the tube that allows sperm to travel from the testicle to the urethra where it mixes with other ejaculatory fluid). The gel prevents sperm from traveling up the urethra, but still allows fluid to move through, so no “back up”. In the end, no sperm will reach the urethra.

The interesting part is Vasalgel is reversible🙏🏻. Your doctor will be able to inject a fluid that will dissolve the Vasalgel, which is much easer than reversing a vasectomy. Note there are also issues with reversing vasectomies, although uncommon there are possible complications (low sperm count, scar tissue build-up, bleeding, anti-sperm antibody production…)

Reversible birth control sounds very appealing, which a recent study also confirms. About 41% of men confirm they would use Vasalgel if it were available.

Does it have any side effects?

This was the exact first thing I asked when reading the research on vasalgel. Right now, the only studies have been on rabbits, which I guess was fitting given the saying, “Breed like rabbits.” **🐰. So in rabbits there havent been any reported side effects, but human trials still await.

The Bottom Line

The idea of a male contraceptive that does not alter hormones, is reversible, safe and can be a safe way to birth control is not a bad idea. Female birth control carries many side effects, as these pills or injections alter hormone levels and can increase risk for blood clots, weight gain, mood changes, visual changes, and may increase the risk of breast, cervical and liver cancer (with a possible decrease in endometrial and ovarian cancer) [1]. Yet this all needs to personalized per woman and the type of birth control hormone matters. Also to note, oral contraceptives aren’t just to prevent pregnancy but they also have their own unique use for gynecological conditions.

Yet if we can avoid these possible side effects with male birth control, then I think it should be looked into.

So guys, will you let your doctor inject a gel into your vas deferens? Let me know your feedback.

** 🐰To feed your curiosity, because I know you were thinking it, female rabbits ovulate while they’re having sex. So the time of month for them doesn’t real matter.

Disclaimer: I have no connections to Vasalgel, just trying to share the knowledge for my guys and gals out there

References

1. Burkman R, Schlesselman JJ, Zieman M. Safety concerns and health benefits associated with oral contraception. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2004; 190(4 Suppl):S5–22.
2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161102080117.htm
3. https://www.parsemusfoundation.org/projects/vasalgel/
4. Waller D, Bolick D, Lissner E, Premanandan C, Gamerman G. Azoospermia in rabbits following an intravas injection of Vasalgel TM. Basic and Clinical Andrology. 2016;26:6. doi:10.1186/s12610-016-0033-8.

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