Return to the days of free love with a new contraceptive that could revolutionize the act of carnal embrace. There is only one surprise...it's for men. Sujoy Guha, a professor of biomedical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, believes he may have found a sort of miracle contraceptive, reports Audrey Schulman in Grist Magazine. Guba has been working on his invention, called Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance (RISUG), for the last 25 years. A single injection into the vas -- the place where sperm leaves the testicles -- can be effective against causing pregnancy for up to ten years.
Whoa, there! 'Men don't like doctors to have anything to do with their testicles,' said Don Waller, a contraceptives expert and professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Regardless, it looks like men just might have to deal with it because this technology is light years ahead of anything else on the market. Plus, the way it works is pretty cool. The injection coats the vas with a gel that has a negative and positive electrical charge. As sperm cells, which also have electrical charges, pass by the gel, the opposite charge ruptures the cells' membranes. RISUG does not affect tissues in the vas because those tissues have no charge. Guha enumerates six advantages of his invention:
Consider the other options. This contraceptive would mean fewer women worrying about the side-effects of the pill and often-dangerous IUDs. No need to worry about broken condoms or ineffective diaphragms.
And it's cheap. American pharmaceutical companies have spent
massive amounts trying to bring the pill for men to the market,
something men would have to buy again and again and again. In the
United States, a decade of female pills costs about $3,600. Indian
Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is planning to market RISUG at
roughly $22, making it affordable for many of the poorest in the
world. Providing the developing world with a cheap form of
contraception would mean fewer women dying in childbirth, fewer
families poor because they have so many children, and fewer women
dying from botched abortions.
-- Joel Stonington
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