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The Latest in Birth Control For Men:RISUG

The Latest in Birth Control For Men:RISUG

When I first heard of a new method of birth control for men called RISUG (“reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance”) that is 100% effective, I wanted to say-Interested men, get on a plane to India! Turns out, it is a bit too soon for that, but it is in its final stages of becoming approved and available there and in many other countries.

How does it work? Check it out.

RISUG consists of two tiny injections into the scrotum that result in 100% birth control protection for 10 years or more. The injections take about 15 minutes and have no side effects. The RISUG technique injects a positively charged nontoxic polymer into a section of the vas deferens (the tiny tubes that carry sperm to the penis, where they then mix with prostate fluids to form semen), which chemically “incapacitates the sperm,” making them incapable of fertilizing an egg.  Sperm have a negative charge, and when they pass the positively charged polymer “the charge differential from the polymer zaps them. All of them. Every time.”

While seemingly full proof, guys might ask themselves why they would want a 10+ year solution if they know they want to have children in the future.  Because it is completely reversible with another few injections.  It’s like a vasectomy but better — it’s less invasive physically (it is not snipping anything), even more effective (vasec’s are not 100% but close) and it allows you to change your mind.

The technique was invented awhile ago, so why hasn’t it been offered yet? dvice.com thinks that, “drug companies aren’t especially interested in RISUG because they wouldn’t make any money on it. The injection lasts a decade and the syringe would likely end up costing more than what’s inside, so unlike male hormonal birth control (which they’ve been working on for years), patients wouldn’t need to keep paying for more medication every month.”

However, the World health Organization (WHO) did find that past studies done by its Indian scientist creator Sujoy Guha, “did not meet ‘international regulatory requirements’ for new drug approval—certain data was missing.”  But in 2010 the Gates Foundation gave Guha funding to conduct Phase III clinical trials which are now in process, and predictions are it will be available in as little as two years.

In addition to being a great solution for a lot of guys, Bill Gifford at wired e-magazine speaks to bigger picture benefits–for developing countries, “Cheap to produce and relatively easy to administer, RISUG could help poor couples limit their families—increasing their chances of escaping poverty. In the developed countries, it would help relieve women of the risks of long-term birth-control-pill use and give men a more reliable, less annoying option than condoms. About half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. Come up with a better contraceptive and the likely results are all good: fewer unwanted kids, fewer single parents, and fewer abortions.”

From what I can tell, RISUG can’t come soon enough. Have you heard of the technique? Additional info and thoughts, please!

4 Responses to The Latest in Birth Control For Men:RISUG

  1. This is a dream come true. While women certainly encounter problems getting birth control (and I don’t mean to diminish that fact), sometimes I feel that men get the short end of the stick when it comes to variety of options. I know my partner has expressed a wish for hormonal birth control for men in the US, and here is news of something even better and side effect-free!
    I’ll be typing a letter of thanks to the Gates foundation tonight. Thank you so much for sharing this information. It made my day (and in two years, might make my decade)!

  2. I read about this technique in Wired too! It looks pretty amazing and it drives me crazy that it’s being delayed because it won’t make enough money for the drug companies. I’d fund the initiative myself if I had the resources.

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