The common story with them – new revolutionary way of male contraception is going to appear on the market but finally – doesn’t. Every other method of male contraception fails its final trials or even does not survive to the final phase of it. Regular reasons – founders don’t have money to finance the trials on men, or those trials appeared to be non-contraceptive (it only states the fact that men are not mice), or just the side effects of the method are too heavy to bear. We don’t know, but for us, women, it sometimes looks like sabotage. On the second thought it’s so much easier to men when the entire job for preventing undesired pregnancy is laid on women’s shoulders… So much relief for men.
Meanwhile constant little moves for inventing the methods that would be simple while using, easy to live with, not obvious to the crowd (as condom in your pocket is) with the least number of side effects and fast to reverse (and worth expenses) are made by those who consider male as participant of the process of birth planning.
RISUG. Another potential successful method of future male contraception. It was developed by Sujor K Guna in India, now is under the third phase of clinical trials though already has patented in India, US, China and Bangladesh.
RISUG is a non-hormonal contraceptive, an injectable compound that partially blocks the vasa deferentia and destructs/destroys the sperm, a compound composed of SMA (styrene maleic anhydride) mixed with DMSO (solvent dimethylsulfoxide).
The contraceptive effect is the following: RISUG destroys cell membranes of sperm that have set of molecular keys – the tools for attaching the egg while fertilization. Without it the sperm are actually infertile.
RISUG has an interesting unknown effect on sperm. It has not been investigated yet. Scientists have some different presumptions of how the SMA with DMSO influence the sperm, but it somehow does.
Men, just imagine – you come to the clinic, have a dose of RISUG injection within a matter of minutes and go outside, get to your wives at home, have your coffee of beer and in 72 hours have your almost wonderful sex with absolute contraceptive effect. Within a week your sex would be fully wonderful. Sounds like joke? But that is the way 250 men are living. 15 of them had RISUG more than 10 years ago. This is the method that has all the chances to replace the condom in the close future. Although it provides no protection against sexually transmitted diseases it could potentially have an anti-HIV agent, which brings even more reasons for further investigations of the method. What do they do?
The compound (gel) is injected using a no-scalpel procedure (one of the way) into the vasa deferentia, where it coats the walls immediately. Or it can be injected after making a little incision that can be closed with one suture. It takes 15 minutes to have you RISUG and go home. Guha advices to use condoms for up to 10 days, just for a case. So, how do you like the speed?
The first clinical trial of injection of therapeutic dose (60 milligrams) gave contraceptive effect and no complications stated. During the second clinical trial there were no pregnancies for 1-3 years of study. All the volunteers have been using RISUG a lot more and still have no pregnancies. Hypothetically the contraceptive effect for shorter period could be provided with smaller dosage of RISUG.
I don’t forget about the thing that stands sometimes higher than effectiveness – side effects. Good news. It doesn’t cause granulomas and an autoimmune response (as vasectomy does) and it doesn’t decrease prostate health. The second trial participant 8 years after receiving RISUG had absolutely healthy prostates. There are also some unconfirmed reports about kidney problems. But all mentioned are pale in comparison with those of other contraceptives.
Multiple injections and reversals are effective in primates, though it has not yet been tested in humans. To be able to conceive children one need another injection into ones vas deferens – injection of dimethyl sulfoxide or sodium bicarbonate – and several months to reverse. When tested on primates normal sperm production levels were renewed within 2-3 months (primates were treated with RISUG for 1,5 years). Within 3-5 months cellular-levels back to before RISUG-state.
So, let’s count pluses: the process is non- surgical (once had it you immediately can go), the effect is long-lasting (60 ml of RISUG give you 10 years of contraception), it has few side effects, it is reversible and (!!) convenient (it is always with you, just give yourself up to passion). Sounds like they have found another way too often used method of contraception in future (as condom is nowadays). We’ll wait and see.