Contraceptive : Until recently, the family planning methods that the male partner could choose from were limited to coitus interruptus, condoms, and vasectomy. But recently other strategies are being explored that are not yet consolidated and that have very promising prospects.
Research into female hormonal contraception has a relatively short history, since the first product that was marketed for this purpose dates back to 1959. However, it is far ahead of male hormonal contraception, more limited by the difficulty of finding substances that inhibit the production of sperm without seriously affecting sexual desire and erection capacity.
Let’s review the classic methods of male contraception:
It is a method that consists of withdrawing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation. About 80% efficacy is attributed to it. The aspects that reduce the effectiveness of the method are that it is not always possible or convenient to control exactly the moment of ejaculation, and that the presence of sperm has been described in the pre-seminal fluid that is secreted during sexual intercourse before ejaculation.
The first have been documented since ancient times and were made from animal intestines. Materials have evolved infinitely and are currently manufactured with latex or synthetic polymers that do not contain latex for allergy sufferers, and allow a very thin sheath to be made that is placed over the erect penis before penetration and acts as a barrier to prevent contact with the female secretions and collects the content of the ejaculate, thus combining contraceptive capacity with that of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases
Relatively simple definitive surgical method to perform, in which the vas deferens is sectioned under local anesthesia, a small tube that is easy to locate under the skin of the scrotum, which is the one that conducts sperm from the testicle to the urethra. With this obstructed duct, sexual function is not limited in any way, the ejaculate is preserved intact, the ejaculated liquid simply does not contain sperm. Vasectomy has a definitive purpose , although its reversal can be attempted by rejoining the ends of the severed duct, although it is a complex intervention and not always with good results.
New lines of research
In relation to vasectomy, lines of research have been developed with substances that act mechanically by obstructing the vas deferens. Currently there are two drugs called RISUG® and VasalGel™ that, injected into the vas deferens, act as a “plug” that curiously can be dissolved by injecting other “solvent” substances, making this method reversible, showing 100% effectiveness in laboratory animals.
Another inexpensive and reversible mechanical method that has also been proposed is that certain frequency ranges of ultrasound applied to the scrotum can reduce sperm motility and viability. It has been shown to be effective in animals and constitutes a line of research in humans.
Finally, there are lines of research with multiple enzymatic chemical substances that inhibit or interfere with the sperm synthesis chain, or with their viability or mobility, which have demonstrated their effectiveness, but their safety in humans will have to be carefully evaluated.
These works are very promising because this shift in the contraceptive strategy with non-hormonal substances makes it possible to avoid interference in the body’s hormonal balance, which is very delicate. The results are very positive, more research is needed, but it seems possible that in the near future interesting, varied and safe methods will be available so that men can also take responsibility for contraceptive measures.
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