During a clinical trial of the non-surgical contraceptive, the injection was effective with a success rate of 97.3%b for which 303 candidates were recruited and zero side-effects were reported, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The non-hormonal birth control measure is called Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance (RISUG).
The injectable male contraceptive is designed as an alternative to a surgical vasectomy, the only method available in the world to sterilise men by blocking the sperm from reaching the semen.
The product is effective in reducing the risk of unplanned pregnancies for 13 years, after which it loses its potency.
“The product is ready and the trails are over, with only regulatory approvals pending with the Drugs Controller. Phase 3 clinical trials for which 303 candidates were recruited, had a 97.3% success rate and no reported side-effects. The product can safely be called the world’s first male contraceptive,” the Indian daily Hindustan Times quoted Dr. R.S. Sharma, senior scientist with ICMR, as saying.
Similar studies were conducted in the US and UK by the researchers and the study is still a work in progress.
According to the National Health Service website of UK, the research was conducted in 2016 on 320 men and the injection was found to be effective in 98.4% of men in preventing pregnancy. However, researchers found there was a high side effects rate, leading to problems such as depression, muscle pain, acne and increased libido.
The newly designed contraceptive by the government-funded medical council would be a polymer that would be injected in the sperm-containing tube near the testicles under local anaesthesia by a medical professional.
According to Sharma, the polymer was developed in 1970 at the Indian Institute of Technology and they have been working to develop the product for mass use since 1984. “The final product is ready after exhaustive trials,” said Sharma.
The injectable male contraceptive, supposed to be preferred over vasectomy, will possibly take up to seven months to get the approvals before hitting the stores.