An innovative new gel may change the face of birth control. Women, who bear the burden of preventative measures designed to prevent pregnancy, are constantly targeted by reactionary politicians who pander to the anti-choice right by limiting access to birth control.
Men will likely soon be able to step in and share the responsibility. Vasagel, which just passed a two-year study on primates, works by an injection of a gel that seals the tube through which sperm pass from the testicles to the penis. Effectively, it has the same result as a vasectomy – the only actionable alternative to condoms available men.
The big difference between Vasagel and a vasectomy (in theory at least) is that a second injection can dissolve the blockage. This would enable men who later decide that they want kids to do so.
Vasectomies, while occasionally reservable, are designed to be permanent. A procedure that uses innovative techniques such as those made possible by Vasagel would revolutionize birth control access by granting men a reliably reversible method of taking on this responsibility in a relationship.
The big catch here is that the second, key step of dissolving the blockage has yet to be successfully executed. But it seems reasonable to anticipate either Vasagel or a similiar medical product hitting the market in the coming years. In the fight for greater gender parity, such an event will equalize the burdens of birth control to the benefit of all parties involved.