FSRH Comments on the Development of New Male Contraceptive 'Vasalgel'

Posted 7 February 2017

Date: 07 Feb 2017

Type: FSRH News and Information

FSRH gives its perspective on a new type of male contraceptive that has been successful in animal trials

As highlighted in the several media outlets today,  after successful monkey trials,  scientists are now preparing to conduct human trials for a new male contraceptive gel 'Vasalgel'. 

Vasalgel acts as a physical barrier once injected into the tubes that sperm would swim down to the penis. The gel is given as an injection under anaesthetic and is meant to be a long-acting method of contraception. Researchers say Vasalgel has the same end effect as a vasectomy, but they hope that it will be easier to reverse if the man decides that he wants to have children. 

Commenting on this development, Dr Sarah Hardman, Deputy Director of FSRH's Clinical Effectiveness Unit, said: 

“FSRH welcomes research into effective new options that broaden contraceptive choice for women and their partners.  This research is reported to involve injecting a gel into the vas deferens to prevent passage of sperm. Studies in animals are reported to be promising in that they suggest that this could be an effective reversible form of male contraception that has few side effects. 

It is an exciting area of research, but before we know if it is a future contraceptive option,  the technique will have to be very carefully studied in human volunteers.  We need to ensure that it is safe, well tolerated and effective and to clearly define how long it will be effective for and to what extent it is reliably reversible. 

It is likely to be some years before studies are completed and we will know whether this a real option for the future.  In the meantime, we continue to provide guidance for clinicians so that they can support women to make good contraceptive choices that suit them individually.”

Read the study on the contraceptive efficacy of Vasalgel

Read stories in the media on Vasalgel:  BBC,­ GuardianITVHuffington PostSunMirror