Reversible Birth Control Options for Men Are Coming!
For more than 50 years, birth control pills or oral contraceptives and a number of other temporary anti-pregnancy options have been largely for women only. But this is about to change as science is inching closer to producing reversible birth control solutions for men too.
Men's options for birth control are mostly limited to condoms and vasectomies. But the stigma attached to these methods means vasectomies are mostly preferred by older men but shunned by younger males who prefer condoms.
However, new advances in medical research are bound to make a big difference in the near future.
For example, one of the most promising male-oriented reversible solutions to pregnancy woes is the non-hormonal injectable gel named Vasagel. The gel stops the passage of the sperm by plugging up the vas deferens. Recent clinical trials with lab animals suggest that a single dose of Vasagel can keep pregnancy at bay for 10 years according to Smithsonian. But the drug is yet to receive regulatory approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Another novel attempt to shift the birth control burden from women to men is a German innovation.
Berlin-based Clemens Bimek believes that the device he invented, Bimek SLV, has a potential to become a breakthrough solution for men who seek to avert pregnancy without impairing their ability to reproduce at a more suitable time in the future.
Bimek SLV is a 1.8cm-long valve implant weighing 2 grams which is surgically inserted in the spermatic ducts with an on-and-off rocket switch located under the thin skin of the scrotum. The so-called 'sperm switch' is designed to divert sperm flow away from the penis according to a report by Daily Mail.
Lastly, a recent Japan-based study suggests that a drug can block a certain protein called 'calcineurin' responsible for the production of sperm. In an experiment involving lab mice, the researchers found that those that received antibiotic cyclosporine and tacrolimus were unable to make their female partners pregnant but after the drugs were taken off, mice's fertility reversed back to normal as mentioned RH Reality Check.
The foregoing options are still underway but are clearly on the horizon. New developments would mean viably equalizing the burden between men on women on matters of birth control.
"There has to be something for men to take responsibility in the same way as women," said Emeritus Professor Ilpo Huhtaniemi of Reproductive Endocrinology at Imperial College London as quoted by KMOV 4 News.