rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » Now, a new form of birth control for MEN

Now, a new form of birth control for MEN

Last updated on: June 14, 2012 17:13 IST

Now, a new form of birth control for MEN

     Next

Next
Courtesy LoveMatters.info

Could the new Indian contraceptive method of a 'reversible vasectomy' be the answer for male birth control?

RISUG is a new Indian contraceptive method for men that lasts as long as you like. It's an 'injectable vasectomy' -- one quick shot and you're infertile. But as soon as you're ready to have babies, another shot reverses the effect, and you're shooting live rounds again.

The proper term is Reversible Inhibition of Sperm under Guidance, shortened to the less-than-catchy RISUG. It's the brainchild of scientist Sujoy Guha of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

Sperm zapped

Fifteen minutes is all it takes for a doctor to inject the gel into the vas deferens, the tube that sperm swim through on their way from the testes to the penis. After three days, the contraceptive is ready to work.

The procedure is actually pretty similar to a normal vasectomy. That means it's not really just an injection, but a minor operation in a very tender spot. But instead of being snipped or tied, the sperm tube gets a shot of gel.

The gel lines the walls of the vas deferens and acts like a booby trap for sperm. As soon as they set off along the tube they die -- they're actually zapped by an electrical charge.

Then years, months or even days later, if a man decides he's ready to have children, the vasectomy can be reversed. A second injection flushes out the gel and in no time sperm are swimming again.

© www.lovematters.info is a journalistic website about love, sex, relationships and everything in between.

love matters

Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

     Next

Benefits

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

RISUG dodges a side-effect of the vasectomy, because the zapped sperm still flow out of the body with all the rest of the seminal fluid. With a conventional vasectomy, the sperm end up trapped inside the body, and can cause painful little lumps called granulomas.

Men who are pretty sure they don't want more kids could benefit from a reversible vasectomy. But it is also a good option for guys who aren't ready for kids yet, or couples who want to space out pregnancies.

Long-term birth control for men could also be great news for women, sparing them the side-effects of the pill or other hormonal birth control methods. And they wouldn't need to worry about whether a guy has remembered to take a 'male pill'.


Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
Tags: RISUG

Prev     Next

Question marks

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

RISUG seems to be a very reliable form of birth control. But the research process has faced some setbacks.

Back in 2002, the World Health Organisation said Sujoy Guha's trials weren't up to scratch, and the Indian Council of Medical Research said more tests were needed to be certain the injection isn't toxic.

What's more, although the whole idea of RISUG is that it's supposed to be reversible, the process of flushing it out again hasn't actually been tested on humans yet.


Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

Prev     Next

Most promising?

Prev     More
Prev

More

Research into contraception for men began in the 1970's, mostly with hormonal methods.

Today, different non-hormonal male birth control methods are being tested, like the 'dry orgasm pill'. Men taking the pill don't ejaculate any semen when they come.

There are also painless heat and ultrasound treatments for the testicles, and even plants from parts of Asia that have short-term birth control effects.

But the reversible vasectomy might just be the most promising option of them all. RISUG has now been tested by some men in India for as long as 20 years, and the final phase of trials is underway.

In the USA, where it's called Vasalgel, men will probably be able to take part in trials this year. Vasalgel could be on the market in the USA by 2015.


Photographs: AnonMoos/Wikimedia Commons
Tags: Vasalgel , USA , RISUG , India , Asia

Prev     More