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Male Birth-Control Injection to Arrive in 2017

Update Date: Sep 16, 2014 03:41 PM EDT

Reversible male birth-control injections are just around the corner, if a new study on baboons is any indication.

The Parsemus Foundation has experimented Vasalgel, a non-hormonal polymer, on three male baboons only to find that they had failed to impregnate any of the 15 female baboons that each of them were allowed to mate with for a month. According to Science Alert, the baboons were injected Vasalgel six months ago. Vasalgel works by blocking the Vas Deferens which carry the sperm from testicles to the urethral opening in the penis. The vas deferens are cut during vasectomies. Unlike vasectomies, Parsemus says use of Vasalgel is reversible.

Business Standard reported that a second injection can help flush Vasalgel out if a man wants to restore fertility.

After remaining with female baboons for a few more weeks, researchers said they will flush out Vasalgel from male baboons to truly determine if the process is reversible and if sperm flow from testicles is restored.

Male contraception would greatly reduce health burden on women as most forms of female contraception pose a health-risk, The Daily Beast writes. Vasalgel is non-hormonal and reversible, besides being easy to use as it simply requires a one-time injection.

According to a press release, further testing on five baboons will soon commence. Eight baboons will stay injected with vasalgel for a period of three to six months and allowed to mate with females to further test efficacy. Following the success of baboon preclinical studies, the team intends to take up human trials next year.

"We want to get Vasalgel on the market as soon as possible, but all the proper efficacy and safety testing needs to be completed. Vasalgel is currently in animal testing, with human trials expected to start in early 2015 (small trial) and 2015-2016 (larger trials). If everything goes well and with enough public support, we hope to get Vasalgel on the market in 2016-2017," the team said on its FAQs page. 

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