Report: Trials to Begin on Male Birth Control

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Good news if you’re sick of dealing with The Pill, and the IUD freaks you out: A San Francisco-based medical research company may have found a convenient birth control solution for men that doesn’t come with the hassle of condoms.

Parsemus Foundation is ready to launch clinical trials on Vasalgel, a contraceptive gel for men, according to a MSN report. Human trials are expected to begin in 2015, with a target of having the product in the market by 2017, 57 years after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first approved The Pill for contraceptive use and changed birth control options forever.

According to Parsemus, Vasalgel prevents sperm from traveling from the testicles to the penis during ejaculation. It is injected into the vas deferens, the duct through which sperm travels. The procedure can be reversed with a second injection that flushes out the gel.

Now in preclinical primate trials, researchers on the project administered Vasalgel to three male baboons who were then moved into separate enclosures with between 10 and 15 females each. Although the animals mated repeatedly, none of the female baboons became pregnant.

Vasalgel does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including the HIV virus. The researchers warn that while some HIV lives in sperm, most of the virus lives in the seminal fluid that can still pass to a male’s partner during ejaculation.

Pharmaceutical companies are less than excited about Vasalgel because a one-time injection for a man in a heterosexual monogamous relationship could mean that his partner will no longer need birth control pills. But the Parsemus Foundation points out that the goal of this revolutionary product is two-fold: a future where responsibility for birth control might be equally shared between the genders and a lower rate of unintended pregnancies.

Photo: Getty