Thursday, September 6, 2012

Birth Control for Men!

With an ever increasing life expectancy, the realization of how much we can accomplish before raising children, and the decline of the anti-sexual and shame-inducing views of the certain ancient religious beliefs, contraceptive measures continue to take a very important role in our sexual endeavors.  However, most of the more-effective contraceptive methods developed thus far have required more work from women than from men.  For instance, young bachelor men might carry condoms around with them, but, more than not, they will be far happier with a female sexual partner who is on "the pill".  We men really have no idea what "the pill" is like or how the control of our hormones at a young age can effect us, but, if we pay close attention to the women around us, we will see that there are many women who are negatively influenced by "the pill".

So what can we do?  Well, there are currently many researchers who are looking into new means of contraception.  Some of these new means include contraceptive treatments for men.  But, if "the pill" is so bad for women, what would a hormone treatment do to men?  Well, I have no intentions of finding out.  I would never use a contraceptive that influenced my testosterone production in any way.  However, some of these new means for male contraception promise to be non-hormonal and might give us as much reliability as an IUD (internal uterine device) does for a woman.

Here's one such possible new technique called RISUG (for reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance) which may be on the market pretty soon.  I won't explain the chemistry too much here (for more info see this article: RISUG on Techcitement), but, the technique requires a small incision in the scrotum, followed by injection of a gel into the vas deferens on both testicles, and close-up of the incision.  Easy as cake.  Done in 15 minutes or so.  The current hypothesis for how this treatment works is that the polymer of the gel lines the vas deferens, so that sperm are still allowed to pass, however, as the sperm pass the polymer, a polyelectrolytic effect caused by the charges on the polymer tear the sperm cells apart.  The polymer might last up to 10 years and promises reversibility by simple injection of a sodium bicarbonate solution.  This treatment is still in trials and might have a ways to go before we see it in everyday use, but, if the treatment is shown to be safe and effective, then I can see such a treatment being of great use for the modern sexual male and his sexual partners.

Even if RISUG never makes it past trial stage, at least there are researchers out there trying to find a way to create non-hormonal contraceptive treatments for men.  Birth control for men!  This would allow us to take up some of the work of preventing unwanted pregnancies, making abortion less of a need, and making it so we never have to worry about having a condom again when we want to get freaky.

For a little more info on RISUG, check out the Wikipedia entry (Wikipedia).

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