In a word… yikes.
Researchers in India think they’ve found an effective male birth control method.
It’s supposed to be effective for 13 years, and a replacement for a surgical vasectomy.
But will anyone use it?
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has successfully completed clinical trials of the world’s first injectable male contraceptive, which has been sent to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for approval, according to researchers involved in the project.
The contraceptive is effective for 13 years, after which it loses its potency. It is designed as a replacement for surgical vasectomy, which is the only male sterilisation method available in the world.
“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% success rate and no reported side-effects. The product can safely be called the world’s first male contraceptive,” said Dr RS Sharma, senior scientist with ICMR, who has been spearheading the trials.
Ok, so how does it work?
The contraceptive is a polymer that has to be injected under local anaesthesia in the sperm-containing tube near the testicles (vas deferens) by a registered medical professional.
“The polymer was developed by Prof SK Guha from the Indian Institute of Technology in the 1970s. ICMR has been researching on it to turn it into a product for mass use since 1984, and the final product is ready after exhaustive trials,” said Sharma.
The product, called reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance (RISUG), is made of a compound called Styrene Maleic Anhydride. “It is effective for at least 13 years once injected. In clinical studies on mice, it has been proven to be a reliable spacing method, and we will be initiating human studies soon to prove that in humans also, it can be used as an effective spacing method,” said Sharma.
Surgically inserting a polymer into your unit?
Maybe in India, people might be cool with that. But here in America? Seems like a tough sell.