Birth Control for Men Could Be Here by 2018, and That’s Pretty Awesome

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40-year-old-virgin-condomsSometimes I sit around and try to imagine what life was like before the Pill. Safe, reliable birth control changed the world, and now it looks like guys might finally be getting a version of their own in just the next couple years.

According to Cosmopolitan, a reversible male birth control called Vasalgel is expected to be available on the market by 2018. It works by injecting gel into a man’s vas deferens so that sperm cannot escape, which means it’s basically like a temporary, reversible, non-surgical vasectomy.

Vasalgel has not yet been tested on humans, but a study with rabbits indicated that 11 of 12 rabbits tested were not releasing sperm a year after injection. That’s a small study that has only been done on animals, but the researchers say they’re optimistic about getting similar or better results when testing on human men, and that the product could actually be commercially available in 2018. There are more tests to be done though, because as yet the researchers aren’t really sure how long it will last in humans.

“It seems to be pretty durable; we expect it to last for years. We just don’t know how many yet,” said Dr. Elaine Lassner of the Parsemus Foundation, which is developing the drug.

OK, that’s something they need to figure out before it goes to market, because guys are really going to need to know when they could start releasing sperm again.

Vasalgel is also reportedly reversible. Scientists were able to undo the effect in rabbits with an injection that dissolved the first.

Of course, the injection won’t protect against STDs, so condoms will still be safer for a lot of people. But extra protection is good, and male birth control is pretty exciting for several reasons. On the one hand, science is just awesome. It’s pretty neat that we potentially have the technology to temporarily render dudes infertile, then turn it off when the dudes want to be fertile again. It’s also pretty great news for dudes who do not want to have babies right now, because more control over our reproductive processes is always better.