Vasectomies will become a thing of the past as scientists say contraceptive vaccine for men is a year away

Just make sure you don’t forget! Vasectomies will be a thing of the past, as scientists say men’s contraceptive vaccine is just a year away

  • The male contraceptive vaccine would be less painful than a vasectomy
  • But men are very reluctant to take the hit, public health psychologists have said.
  • Reluctance to inject oneself may be partly responsible for the fear

Getting ‘the cut’ could become a thing of the past as scientists say a contraceptive vaccine that lasts ten years could soon be available for men.

The jab – called Risug – could be ready within 12 months.

Developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, the injection has completed its final trials.

It is considered better than a vasectomy as it would be less painful and is also reversible.

But British researchers examining the likelihood of the jab being accepted in that country said many men may be hesitant.

Male contraceptive vaccine would be less painful than a vasectomy, scientists say, but men have been very reluctant to get the shot

Dr Amanda Wilson, a public health psychologist at De Montfort University, told the British Science Festival in Leicester that research found men were very reluctant to take the shot.

She said the tendency for men to have a vasectomy is declining and hesitancy about the injection may be a reflection of that. Dr Wilson said: “For a male pill, we’re still looking at 30-50, but Risug is the closest male contraceptive to hitting the market. However, we are seeing a significant decrease in vasectomies.

She told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘Scientists don’t know why. But until we get that social acceptability for vasectomy on a global scale, there won’t be as much social acceptability for Risug.

Risug is a gel that damages the tails of individual sperm, preventing them from fertilizing an egg.

The procedure can be reversed with an injection of water and baking soda. However, sterilization procedures in general for both men and women have declined in recent years.

In 2010-11, 19,510 vasectomies were performed in NHS hospitals, which in 2020-21 had fallen to 4,486 – a 77% failure.

Female sterilizations in NHS hospitals have also fallen, from 15,189 in 2010-11 to 7,665 in 2020-21, a 50% drop.

The makers of Risug, which stands for Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance, say the jab allows men to be more spontaneous than when using condoms.

The contraceptive uses a polymer called styrene maleic anhydride which coats the sperm duct. The chemical was originally used to coat pipes in rural water supply systems in India, where it was found to kill bacteria.

Risug allows men to be more spontaneous than when using condoms, researchers say

Risug allows men to be more spontaneous than when using condoms, researchers say

Tests on rabbits, rats and monkeys showed it had a similar effect on sperm. Risug has completed several clinical trials on human subjects in India and is awaiting approval from medical authorities there.

In the United States, a male contraceptive called Vasalgel, which works in a similar way, is under development.

Dr Wilson said: ‘I think women would find a real benefit if they didn’t have to worry about their partner taking a pill. It’s a bit more peace of mind.

One advantage of the jab is that it is not based on hormones. Attempts to develop a male birth control pill based on sex hormones have run into problems in the past, due to side effects in men, including acne and mood swings – two common side effects in pills for women.