Implanting Sperm-Blocking Gel "Could Change The Game" For Male Contraception

 



In Australia, a temporary sperm-blocking gel alternative to vasectomies is being tested. The new procedure involves implanting a non-hormonal hydrogel into the sperm ducts, which dissolves after two years.


Contraline, a manufacturer of medical devices, describes ADAM as a gel and delivery system that "is designed to restrict sperm from going through the vas deferens without impacting sensation or ejaculation" on their website. Blocked sperm inevitably deteriorate and are absorbed. The hydrogel liquefies at the end of its useful life, reducing the obstruction to sperm passage.


The study's chief investigator, urologist Professor Nathan Lawrentschuk, said in a statement that if it is successful, it "may be a game-changer, guaranteeing that contraception is a shared duty between couples."


Four of the 25 study participants have already received injections at Melbourne's Epworth Freemasons Hospital, where the trial is being conducted. According to Contraline, the operation only requires a "quick injection" and local anesthetic, and it takes less than 30 minutes to implant the gel.


In another statement, Lawrentschuk added, "The implantation procedures went incredibly well, and the patients were all swiftly released after the surgeries."


A clinical trial page states that the study's anticipated end date is June 30, 2025. The study will look at "the percentage of subjects achieving absolute azoospermia, defined as a zero sperm count, and percentage of subjects achieving virtual azoospermia, defined as a sperm count of 100,000 per milliliter and 0 percent motility." Participants will provide semen samples for three years."


"Men would be in charge of their own contraception in this situation and may participate in the conflict, which is frequently blamed on the partner, Lawrentschuk told ABC News. "There may be numerous situations when it could be very helpful, such as when their spouse is unable to use contraception or when they have just ended a long-term relationship and desire a period of known infertility."


Given the relative scarcity of options for male contraception, as you can obviously understand, people are very keen to try this. According to Kevin Eisenfrats, co-founder and CEO of Contraline, "the patient demand for the ADAM Study has been enormous, with the full trial oversubscribing within three weeks of commencing enrolment."


Nuts are heated using magnets in other studies in this area, or they are submerged in a tiny ultrasound bath.


When a group of University of Virginia undergrads entered the Collegiate Inventors Competition, they won two awards for their innovation, giving birth to Contraline. They were creating a polymer gel as a substitute for sterilizing cats and dogs when they decided to apply the technique to people. They wanted to make the gel visible with ultrasound so it could be checked more easily.


"We're experimenting with injecting through the skin utilizing an ultrasound. Eisenfrats noted in a statement from 2015 that the technique is more akin to a flu vaccination than a surgical one. Actually, all we're doing is developing a novel male contraception that can be used by all species.

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