After numerous trials and research, a new male contraceptive which hinders sperm flow using a gel has come to fruit in monkey trials. Once released into the tubes, the Vasalgel presents itself as an inhibitor which prevents the sperm from going down the penis. With a two-year trial behind it, the company that achieved this great success says it works and is safe for primates. The trial was also published in Basic and Clinic Andrology.
Gathering more evidence, they hope to have enough of it in a few years so as to get the green light to commence tests in men. If everything goes well and they realize funding for the research, the remaining step would be to get regulatory approval to make the gel readily available to men.
If it pushes through, the Vasalgel would be the first new type of male contraceptive to get into the market in many decades. The two widely used methods of contraceptives by men as per now are condom use or vasectomy procedures. Having the same end-results as a vasectomy, researchers believe that this will be an easy-to-reverse option in case one wants to have children again. Typically, to reverse the gel procedure, another injection would suffice to dissolve the gel plug. The method proved to be effective in rabbits, but for both man and monkeys, it is yet to get confirmed.
The Monkey Trial
Researchers at the University of California carried out the gel test on 16 adult male monkeys which comprised of already of 10 monkeys that were fathers. After the injection, they got monitored for a week and got released back into their fold to mingle with the other females. The experiment was successful as mating took place and left no female pregnant during the study period. One monkey got operated on as the injection did not go according to plan on the specific monkey and also a few of them had side-effects.