The Revolutionary New Birth Control Method for Men

July 1, 2011 • Family Planning, Reproductive Health, Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Joe Bish and Daniel Lerch for this article about a promising male contraceptive method.  See http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/04/ff_vasectomy/all/1

The Revolutionary New Birth Control Method for Men

By Bill Gifford

April 26th, 2011

One Saturday in January 2010, Devendra Deshpande left his home in the Delhi suburbs and drove into the city to get a vasectomy. He was 36 years old, married with two young kids, and he thought it was time.

He arrived at the hospital around midday and met Hem Das, then the hospital’s chief vasectomy surgeon. Das had an interesting question for Deshpande. Rather than receive a traditional vasectomy, would Deshpande like to be part of a clinical trial for a new contraceptive procedure?

Das explained that the new method did not have some of the drawbacks associated with a regular vasectomy. First, sperm would still be able to escape Deshpande’s body normally, which meant he would be free of the pressure and granulomas that sometimes accompany a vasectomy. More important, it could be reversed easily, with a simple follow-up injection.

“I am normally not adventurous when it comes to getting myself operated on,” Deshpande deadpans. But the new method sounded good to him, and according to the published studies he read on his smartphone in the waiting room, it seemed safe. He gave his wife, Vinu, a call, and although she sounded nervous on the phone, she said she was fine with it. Deshpande decided to try the experimental method.

When his turn came, he lay down on the table, and an orderly draped his lower body with a green surgical cloth that covered everything but his scrotum. Then Das moved in with a needle containing a local anesthetic. Once the drug had taken effect, Das gathered a fold of skin, made a puncture, and reached into the scrotum with a fine pair of forceps. He extracted a white tube: the vas deferens, which sperm travel through from the testes to the penis. In a normal vasectomy, Das would have severed the vas, cauterized and tied up the ends, and tucked it all back inside. But rather than snipping, Das took another syringe, delicately slid the needle lengthwise into the vas, and slowly depressed the plunger, injecting a clear, viscous liquid. He then repeated the steps on the other side of the scrotum.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/04/ff_vasectomy/all/1


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