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Successful male contraceptive gel trial brings new form of birth control closer
Article here. Excerpt:
'A male contraceptive gel has been found to work reliably in a trial in primates, bringing the prospect of an alternative form of birth control for humans closer.
The product, called Vasalgel, is designed to be a reversible and less invasive form of vasectomy and in the latest study was 100% effective at preventing conception. A blob of the gel is injected into the sperm-carrying tube, known as the vas deferens, and acts as a long-lasting barrier.
Previous tests in smaller animals showed the procedure could be easily reversed by breaking up the gel using ultrasound.
Catherine VandeVoort, of the California National Primate Research Centre and the study’s lead author, said: “Men’s options for contraception have not changed much in decades. There’s vasectomy, which is poorly reversible, and condoms. If they knew they could get a reliable contraceptive that could also be reversed I think it would be appealing to them.”
The Parsemus Foundation, a non-profit organisation that funded the work, said it plans to start a human trial as soon as funding is secured, based on the promising monkey results.
“One of the great things about the monkey model is that the male reproductive tract is very similar to humans and they have even more sperm than humans do,” said VandeVoort. “Chances are, it’s going to be effective in humans.”'
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