We need better birth control. This isn’t terribly controversial. Most current birth control is based on decades old science, merely refined as the years have gone by. And there’s still no male equivalent of the pill, which puts the brunt of the burden of long-term birth control on women.
The closest thing for guys is the good old fashioned vasectomy, which still skeeves out most dudes, largely because it’s nearly irreversible (and many dudes still tightly correlate fertility with masculinity). But a new method, developed by Indian scientist named Sujoy Guha, dubbed RISUG (reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance), may change all of that.
It’s radically simple and brilliant: Instead of performing the usual snip-snip with the vas deferens, the tube that all of a dude’s tiny dudes flow through, a positively charged polymer is injected into the tube. When negatively charged sperm flow past, their cell members rupture and the tails are damaged, crippling them. Meaning they’re not gonna fertilize a damn thing. (No babies!) All while a dude’s libido and sperm count stay the same. And the procedure’s totally reversible.
It sounds super promising, but the procedure still has to navigate the complicated labyrinth of federal regulation and the pharmaceutical industry, which won’t be easy. Among other criteria, it basically needs to be something like 99 percent effective and never, ever cause birth defects later on. If it doesn’t make it, well, we’ll still be waiting for better birth control. More here: [Wired, Image: CC licensed, Mikael Colville-Andersen/Flickr]