A successful trial on Rhesus monkeys has paved the way for human trials for Vasalgel, which represents a potential breakthrough in male contraceptive gel.

Illustration depicting fertilization

Illustration depicting fertilization Photo Credit: Sky News/Channel 2 News

A male contraceptive gel that was successfully tested on primates could be the next breakthrough for contraceptive methods, this time for men. The new gel called Vasalgel is injected into the Vas Deferens, the small tube through which sperm passes on its way out of the testicle and blocks them.

The gel is designed among other things to provide a convenient and temporary alternative for sterilization in men. The trial on 16 rhesus monkeys has paved the way for human clinical trials as early as next year. A study conducted on rabbits last year show that by applying a solution of baking soda to the area containing Vasalgel, it can be easily removed.

Dr. Catherine VandeVoort, a senior level scientist at the California National Primate Research Center, said, “Mens options for contraception have not changed much in decades. There’s vasectomy, which is poorly reversible, and condoms. If they knew they could get a reliable contraceptive that could also be reversed, I think it would be appealing to them.”

Professor Adam Balan, Chairman of the British Fertility Society, added that if there will be no side effects, this is a significant step towards a safe male contraceptive.