World's first male contraceptive injection inches closer to release

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 21 Nov 2019, 3:33PM
The world's first male contraceptive injection is closer to being a reality as Indian researchers successfully completed their clinical trial. Photo / Getty
The world's first male contraceptive injection is closer to being a reality as Indian researchers successfully completed their clinical trial. Photo / Getty

World's first male contraceptive injection inches closer to release

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 21 Nov 2019, 3:33PM

The world's first male contraceptive injection is closer to being a reality after Indian researchers successfully completed their clinical trial.

According to the Hindustan Times, the Indian Council of Medical Research, a government-funded biomedical research agency, found its contraceptive had a 97.3 per cent success rate.

Users injected the contraceptive into their penis, and it is claimed no side effects were reported.

"The product is ready, with only regulatory approvals pending [from the government]," Dr RS Sharma, senior scientist with ICMR, told the local news outlet. "The trials are over, including extended, Phase 3 clinical trials for which 303 candidates were recruited with a 97.3 per cent success rate and no reported side effects. The product can safely be called the world's first male contraceptive."

The male birth control method is meant to last 13 years.

It involves injecting a polymer, called styrene-maleic anhydride, into the vas deferens (a duct which carries semen away from the testes), effectively blocking sperm from leaving the testicles.

The shot, preceded by a dose of local anaesthesia, is designed to supplant a traditional vasectomy.

US researchers have developed a similar contraception but it is not yet on the market.

While male birth control pills exist, they are not expected to be released for another 10 years.

Indian researchers says the product is pending approval and could be out within a year.

"The polymer was developed by Professor SK Guha from the Indian Institute of Technology in the 1970s. ICMR has been researching on it to turn it into a product for mass use since 1984, and the final product is ready after exhaustive trials."

Researchers call this reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance.

While the trials have proved relatively successful, researchers say they may struggle to convince men to inject their private parts.

One man, who was interviewed by Vice, said the idea is hard to contemplate.

"When I think about this whole concept of contraception that you have to inject ... it's too graphic," said 33-year-old Abhay. "Our [testicles] are like family jewels, so if I have to resort to using any kind of contraceptive, I'd rather go for a pill."

However, others say women are already burdened enough and it's time for men to step up.

"Men are not too used to making changes in their routine, so it has to be marketed in a way that doesn't seem so intense or difficult," one said.

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