While women today have a wide range of choices available for birth control, including both short and long-term solutions, men have long been limited to just 2 main ones; the condom or the vasectomy. The success of an animal study indicates there may soon be a third much better option available on the market.
The trial was executed by a group of researchers from the University of California and its findings were published in the scientific journal Basic and Clinical Andrology. It comprised 16 male adult monkeys, who were injected with the gel and subsequently returned to the proximity of around 9 breeding females. After observing the monkeys for 2 years, the researchers were satisfied to discover that no conception occurred.
The gel was shown to effectively act as a barricade, blocking any sperm from travelling any further than the vas deferens tube. Rather than being ejaculated, the sperm is simply reabsorbed back into the body.
The treatment was shown to be non-hormonal but also long-acting, just like the vasectomy, only with a better and easier possibility of reversal should conception be desired further down the line. Moreover, the gel did not appear to have any adverse side-effects in the primates either, making it an attractive potential choice for many men.
The team behind the study hopes to receive more funding from the Parsemus Foundation in order to carry out further trials on human beings in the next few years. They also will further studies on the reversible injection that should easily dissolve the gel barrier and allow conception to occur.