Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Think Tank Tuesday 12/30/14: Are We Ready For Male Birth Control?

picture source: sodahead.com
Women around the world prepare to sigh a sigh of relief as 2017 is projected to be the year when the tables are turned on who will be responsible for birth control -- condomless birth control that is. Just think, no more side effects from pills or weird devices inserted into your bodies. When this new break through in birth control comes to fruition, cheers from ladies will be heard around the globe. They'll cheer because the burden of birth control will belong primarily to the man, and things like irregular cycles, bad skin, etc., will be a thing of the past:

[According to a press release from the Parsemus Foundation, a not-for profit organization focused on developing low-cost medical approaches, Vasalgel is proving effective in a baboon study. Three lucky male baboons were injected with Vasalgel and given unrestricted sexual access to 10 to 15 female baboons each. Despite the fact that they have been monkeying around for six months now, no female baboons have been impregnated. With the success of this animal study and new funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Parsemus Foundation is planning to start human trials for Vasalgel next year. According to their FAQ page, they hope to see it on the market by 2017 for, in their words, less than the cost of a flat-screen television. 

So how does Vasalgel work? It is essentially a reimagining of a medical technology called RISUG (reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance) that was developed by a doctor named Sujoy Guha over 15 years ago in India, where it has been in clinical trials ever since. Unlike most forms of female birth control, Vasalgel is non-hormonal and only requires a single treatment in order to be effective for an extended period of time. Rather than cutting the vas deferens—as would be done in a vasectomy—a Vasalgel procedure involves the injection of a polymer contraceptive directly into the vas deferens. This polymer will then block any sperm that attempt to pass through the tube. At any point, however, the polymer can be flushed out with a second injection if a man wishes to bring his sperm back up to speed.source
You can bet your bottom dollar men who've been complaining about using condoms will celebrate when this hits the market! Married men and single men alike will join hands and sing Kumbaya as they wave farewell to the "rhythm method" and condoms -- but not so fast single fellas! 
While your married peers can freely indulge in condomless romps with their significant other you'll still have to strap up for protection because the male birth control doesn't protect against STDs. 


What are your thoughts? Is this development long overdue? How will men react to being the one responsible for birth control?  

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