When you hear the phrase "male birth control," what comes to mind? If you're anything like me, it's as if a Lisa Frank trapper keeper came to life and the world is suddenly in electric rainbow colors with tigers on jet skis, teddy bears in hot tubs, and men and women enjoying the smooth, refreshing taste of gender equality once and for all. Even if that is a bit hyperbolic, the world still got a little bit brighter this week when news got out that injectable male birth control Vasalgel passed another clinical trial.
This new product seems to hold a lot of promise — at least according to researchers. You'd think because it takes both a sperm and egg to get a fetus cooking there would be all kinds of birth control options for men and women, but while ladies have the sponge, the diaphragm, the IUD and a host of hormonal birth control pills, dudes are still left with plain old condoms. Are we finally heralding in a new era of men bearing more of the burden of birth control responsibility? Only time will tell. Here are five facts about this new male birth control to know.
1. It Doesn't Affect Fertility
As reported in Science Alert, once the Vasalgel is injected, it blocks sperm from traveling through the vas deferens and can last at least as long as a year. After the tube is flushed, however, sperm travel is no longer restricted and fertility goes back to normal.
2. It Doesn't Mess With Hormones
Unlike female birth control pills that can do a number on your hormones and cause unwanted side effects, Vasalgel doesn't mess with male hormones.
3. It's Not The Only Kind Of Birth Control That Has Been Studied
Vasalgel is just one type of male birth control that has been studied over the years. Others have included protein-blocking pills that make sperm temporarily infertile, and even spot ultrasound treatment.
4. It's Slated For Tentative 2018 Release
Given how well Vasalgel is responding in test subjects, the Parsemus Foundation — a non-profit which funds Vasalgel research — says that the product could be on the market as soon as 2018.
5. It Hasn't Been Tested On Humans Yet
Sorry to burst this rainbow-colored balloon, but Vasalgel hasn't been tested on humans yet, just baboons and rabbits. According to Cosmopolitan, the first human male test round will launch this fall. Fingers crossed!
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