An Indian team is working on an injectable male contraceptive whose efficacy is not linked to hormones. It could prevent fertilization for up to 13 years.
Research on male contraception is making great strides. Researchers at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) are studying the effectiveness of an injection to block sperm. According to their trials, the technique would provide protection for 13 years.
High success rate
The technique, called “reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance (RISUG)” for controlled reversible sperm inhibition, consists of injecting Styrene Maleic Anhydride dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide into the sperm ducts or vas deferens, whose function is to transport the sperm from the testicles. The product prevents the movement of the sperm and therefore eliminates any possibility of fertilization of the egg. The trials were conducted up to phase 3, in which the drug is tested on a large sample of patients and compared with a placebo. “Three hundred and three candidates were recruited and the success rate was 97.3%, with no reported side effects,” Dr. RS Sharma told the Hindustan Times. The product can certainly be called the world’s first male contraceptive.
One of the limitations of this contraceptive is that it must be administered under local anesthesia. The results show that it can be effective for 13 years, but just one injection is enough to reverse its effects. A few months ago, the product was still being tested by India’s drug monitoring and control agency, the Indian Drug Control Authority.
An Alternative to Condoms and Vasectomy
Scientists believe this method could be a safe alternative to the non-reversible vasectomy, condoms, and all methods of female contraception. Other male contraceptive methods are already available but are still not well known yet, such as heated underwear, and others are still being tested.
In the United States, researchers have conducted trials on “11-beta-MNTDC” a male contraceptive pill. The first results of which are conclusive: Testosterone levels and sperm production have decreased without causing libido disorders or erectile dysfunction.
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