A new study on the effectiveness of Vasalgel, a reversible, male birth control injection, has ruled the gel an immense success. It is now planned to be available to all men in 2018, according to Elaine Lissner, the executive director of the Parsemus Foundation, the organization that developed Vasalgel.
Vasalgel is a gel that is injected into the penis and blocks sperm from leaving the vas deferens. The gel basically acts like a vasectomy, but it is temporary and does not require painful surgery. The study, which was conducted on 12 male test rabbits, revealed that after the rabbits were injected with Vasalgel, 11 rabbits were found to be “azoospermic,” or completely without sperm in their semen for a whole year after their initial injection.
While it’s a small study done on animals, the researchers are optimistic about what it means for human males. They suggest that Vasalgel’s effectiveness could be even longer in human men. Lissner, in an interview with Cosmopolitan, said that the year time frame “is just a minimum. It seems to be pretty durable; we expect it to last for years. We just don’t know how many yet.”
Aside from being hormone-free, Vasagel is also reversible. In the study, scientists were able to flush the gel via a second injection from seven of the rabbits. The following semen samples “showed a rapid return to sperm flow” afterwards.
In the next step for this miracle male birth control gel is the first human trial, which is scheduled for launch later this year. It will only take about six months. Lissner noted that a key component to human trials will be training physicians to administer the Vasalgel injection. She believes that doctors who currently do no-scalpel vasectomies will be the perfect candidates to administer Vasagel in the future.
Lissner also noted that the funding for Vasalgel has been and continues to be an issue. Parsemus Foundation currently has plans to bring in more investors, but Lissner is confident that Vasalgel will raise plenty of funding to ensure that everything goes to plan.
“There are so many men who want this so badly. The support is going to be there.” Lissner said.
It seems that men will finally have a birth control option that is long-lasting, cheap and doesn’t involve surgery. Now all we have to do is wait very anxiously until 2018.