RISUG Male Birth Control Almost Ready

RISUG (Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance) is similar to a vasectomy but is more easily reversible. Here's how it works:

Researchers achieve this feature by injecting a polymer (a gel) into the vas deferens, rather than cutting the vas (as is done in vasectomy). The polymer then coats the inside walls of the vas deferens and kills sperm as they go by. If a man wishes to restore fertility, whether after months or years, the polymer is flushed out of the vas with another injection.

Within minutes of insertion, the gel solidifies and anchors itself to the microscopic folds of the inner walls of the vas deferens. As sperm come into contact with the polymer, the combination of positive and negative charges on the polymer surface causes the membranes of the sperm to burst. The sperm are thus immotile (unable to travel) and unable to fertilize an egg.

This chemical effect has another advantage: unlike a vasectomy, RISUG is effective almost immediately. This compares to a time to infertility for vasectomy of up to three months, the time it takes to reliably clear sperm out of the system (Barone 2003).

This technology is in advanced human trials in India.


(Sisko and Kasidy)

Science fiction fans are prepared for this future, thanks to Star Trek DS9 episode The Dogs of War. After just completing a marathon planning session for a major offensive against the Dominion’s Defence perimeter with Admiral Ross, Romulan Subcommander Velal, and Klingon Chancellor Martok – an exhausted Captain Sisko returns to his quarters – where he gets some unexpected news from his wife Kassidy:

SISKO - You're up late. Waiting for me?
SISKO - What's wrong?
KASIDY - I'm pregnant.
SISKO - Are you sure?
KASIDY - Of course I'm sure.
SISKO - I didn't mean... it's just... a baby! You and me... wow. I hadn't even... a baby?
KASIDY- Surprise.
SISKO - Surprise is right -- how did... ?
KASIDY - I think somebody forgot to get their injection last month...
SISKO - (realizing) And Julian even reminded me. But with everything that's been going on...
KASIDY - You don't have to apologize.
SISKO - I'm not. Are you kidding? This is great!
KASIDY - I'm glad you think so.

So, guys, I'm curious: would you use this technology?

From New Male Contraception and Trekcore via Dvice. Thanks to Moira for doing a great job submitting a tip and great references!

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