With the exception of condoms and straight up abstinence, todays’ contraceptive options — birth control pills, diaphrams, IUDs, you name it — are generally made for women. But a nonprofit medical organization says that within three years, a contraceptive injection for men might be on the market.
The injectable drug, called Vasalgel, would be injected into the man’s vas deferens and block his sperm from making its way to his penis, the Daily Mail reports. To reverse the effects of the drugs, users would ideally inject another gel that would flush the Vasalgel away.
Vasalgel is being developed by the Parsemus Foundation, and is currently undergoing tests on baboons. In the tests, a male baboon was injected with Vasalgel, placed in an enclosure with a bevy of female baboons, and in six months, didn’t get any of them pregnant. Success! The nonprofit hopes to start testing the drug on humans 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,” the Parsemus Foundation says on its FAQ page. “If everything goes well and with enough public support, we hope to get Vasalgel on the market in 2016-2017.”
Vasalgel isn’t the only male contraceptive gel in development. The drug is based on RISUG, another injection that’s also currently in clinical trials.
Even if male contraceptive injects eventually becomes mainstream, we don’t expect it’s going to make women’s contraception any less prevalent. Though guys might one day be able to barricade their balls, the best way for a woman to protect herself against unwanted pregnancy and STDs would still be to provide her own contraception. Additionally, though Vasalgel would help prevent diseases transmitted through bodily fluids — like HIV — it still wouldn’t protect against diseases transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, like Herpes.
There’s also the awkward factor of the injections: namely, that it would cause users to have semen-free orgasms. We guess there would be — er — less mess? As a fellow Betabeat writer noted, it would also finally enable men to fake their orgasms, which could either be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it.