I previously wrote about Vasalgel back in September and, at the time, had a sort of half-hearted hope beyond hope that the technology might fight its way through the birth control pill and condom lobbies to eventually reach the U.S. market by 2017. Well, it looks like there’s actually been some movement here and clinical trials in the U.S. could begin soon. From ABC7 out of San Francisco:
A Bay Area group is hoping to begin clinical trials on a technology they believe could revolutionize birth control. It’s aimed at men.
For millions of men, condoms or a surgical vasectomy are the two choices for male birth control. But now, a Bay Area group believes it could be close to offering an alternative.
Imagine if you and your partner didn’t have to fool with keeping up with birth control methods or hormones that you didn’t want or need in your body. Imagine a man could receive one injection and not have to worry about pregnancy for 10+ years. Now imagine that it was completely reversible at any time. That’s Vasalgel.
Vasalgel is injected into the vas deferens, the tube that sperm swim through.
Once in place, it works like a filter, allowing fluids to pass, but not the larger sperm. Researchers say it’s proven effective in preventing pregnancy in animal testing.
But the gel has one more intriguing advantage according to developers. Unlike a vasectomy, Vasalgel is designed to be easily reversible.
Lissner says a second injection is used to dissolve the polymer, theoretically allowing men to become fertile again.
Her group recently received a grant from the Packard Foundation, and is raising additional money, with the goal of conducting human trials as early as next year.
What’s more, for the developing world, this technology would change everything. Couples with little in the way of money wouldn’t need to constantly shell it out if they didn’t want to have children and national birth control and family planning programs would be able to spend far less money than they now do.
It’s a big deal, it should happen, and it looks like it actually might.
Full disclosure: I have in no way been paid by anyone to write the above article. I don’t know anyone involved in the organizations trying to bring it to market and have zero conflict of interest in writing the above piece. I just keep an eye out for possibly revolutionary technologies and believe this to be one.