Clinical trials for a male contraceptive have been completed in India, and the new injection is awaiting drug authority approval.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been testing this new, less permanent form of birth control as a better option to vasectomies for men. They have called it the reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance (RISUG).
“The trials are over, including extended, phase 3 clinical trials for which 303 candidates were recruited with 97.3% success rate and no reported side-effects,” researcher RS Sharma, a senior scientist with the Indian Council of Medical Research, told The Hindustan Times. “The product can safely be called the world’s first male contraceptive.”
The contraceptive is a polymer called styrene maleic anhydride is injected into the vas deferens, the tube that transports sperm from the testicles to the ejaculatory ducts. Much like a vasectomy, the polymer that is injected prevents the sperms from being released. The area is numbed with a local anesthetic to assist with pain management. ICMR explains that the contraceptive should last 13 years before its potency diminishes.
This concept for male birth control is not new, the development of this polymer dates back to the 1970s in India. According to Interesting Engineering, ICMR has been researching ways to turn it into a useable drug for 35 years.
Now, ICMR expect a waiting period of six to seven months before the contraceptive is approved by regulators.