The De-Sperminator

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:

  • Neither sexual partner has to interrupt the throes of passion
    to use it.
  • The process, once it is refined and approved, will be
    completely non-surgical. Whew, say a lot of men.
  • It’s long-lasting.
  • After testing RISUG on more than 250 volunteers, neither Guha
    nor other researchers in the field have found side effects more
    worrisome than a slight scrotal swelling in some men immediately
    following the injection. This swelling goes away after a few weeks.
    Compare that to the pill, which can cause health problems ranging
    from severe migraines to blood clots.
  • It works. Of all the men who’ve had the RISUG injection (and 15
    of the 250 had it more than 10 years ago), there has been only one
    unplanned pregnancy among their partners — and in that instance,
    the injection wasn’t administered properly.
  • Best of all, the contraceptive appears to be reversible with
    another injection. To date, reversing the procedure has been tried
    only on non-human primates, but among them, it’s been reversed
    successfully multiple times.

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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The Sperminator

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