Basically, it’s a gel that’s injected into a guy’s vas deferens — you know, the tube that sperm swim through. But, unlike a vasectomy, the vas deferens are not snipped and sealed to block sperm. With Vasalgel, the gel itself prevents the sperm from getting through it. In a trial with rabbits and baboons lasting about a year, Vasalgel was shown to work. Reversal was accomplished by getting an injection of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) solution. Wow — science, right? Since reversibility studies haven't been done in humans yet, Vasalgel should be thought of as a vasectomy alternative.
“Women have multiple options (each with its own drawbacks), but right now there’s nothing out there both reversible and highly reliable for men,” Elaine Lissner, founder and executive director of the Parsemus Foundation, tells Bustle. “Clearly, we need an effective, long-acting, reversible option for men. Many men are excited about Vasalgel because it could be that option.”
Having yet another birth control method available at our fingertips — or vas deferens, as it were — is another bonus of Vasalgel. And having that method be in the guy’s court is a game-changer, too. As you know, there are countless options for women out there (the pill, IUDs, the patch, etc.), but not as many for men (primarily, um, condoms… at least for the men who don’t want their vas deferens MIA via a vasectomy). Plus, with the gel, guys won’t suffer from hormonal side effects like females do with certain birth control methods. In fact, Vasalgel could revolutionize birth control as we know it.
“The burden of contraception falls disproportionately on women, partly because women have several long-acting contraceptive options, though they have drawbacks including unpleasant side effects, inconvenience, and expense,” says Lissner. “Meanwhile, many men want control over their reproductive future — and they’re willing to share responsibility for contraception more evenly with women, especially if they can preserve their ability to produce children in the future.”
I spoke to some men who revealed why they’d like to take Vasalgel when it becomes available. Here’s what I found:
1. Dane, 32
2. Byron, 27
3. Declan, 33
4. Ric, 38
5. Miracle, 20
6. David, mid-30s
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