Contraception in development is probably my biggest pet project; I’ve given a couple presentations on the one-time reversible injection method, called RISUG. After injecting this compound into the vas deferens, the sperm will be unable to penetrate the jelly coat of the egg, and thus, pregnancy is prevented. The most amazing aspect of this birth control method is that it is effective for at least 10 years, and is completely reversible. RISUG (which stands for reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance) is cheap and low maintenance, with few to no side effects observed in most subjects. Plus, the procedure takes about five minutes.
The good news is, thanks to all of the people that filled out the petition and survey on malecontraceptives.org , RISUG will be resuming testing in the United States within the next five years! Since 2001 or so, a company in India held the rights to test this method, and RISUG reached Phase III clinical trials–much testing concluded that this product was completely safe and effective. All that is left is to get the product approved and release it to the public.
As a sex health educator, I emphatically support access to new birth control methods, especially additional methods that allow men to have more control over their reproductive choices. That RISUG will soon be tested in the US is good news indeed, but if you want to do more by signing the petition, you can help push this method forward.
edit: after reading some comments from Reddit, I think it’s important to address a few things people have been talking about
- The treatment is effective for at least 10 years. In trials, none of the subjects have gotten a partner pregnant *yet*. The treatment should be able to last longer, but for now, we know that it works at least this long.
- The compound coats the sperm, and so it will not affect ejaculation in any way. It only affects the enzymes in the sperm head that bore into the jelly coat of the egg. It is also unlikely that there will be any difference in taste or smell.
- The only side effect of treatment was swelling of the scrotum that was present up to two weeks after the injection (and even that was only for a fraction of the subjects). Other than that, no side effects were observed.
- FYI: THIS METHOD IS NOT HORMONAL. RISUG does not affect testosterone or estrogen production in any way. The chemical only affects one enzyme on the tip of sperm heads. That is the reason there are few to no side effects.
- for more information, please visit new male contraception