So I am assuming we’ve all read Liz Jones’ article today in the Daily Mail, 'The craving for a baby that drives women to the ultimate deception', time has passed and you’re now able to close your mouths. Having toyed with the idea of a spoof article by Jiz Loans I realised that A) some things are too ridiculous to parody. And B) far better to try and use it for good, not as a warning to men that all women post 35 are baby crazy but that they will soon be able to take more responsibility regarding contraception.
Last month’s Future Contraception Initiative
conference has revealed we are on the brink of the male contraceptive and it is no longer just a hypothetical pill dismissed by women who insist men would forget to take it.
Using the science of science FCI discussed the development from trials of an injectable vasectomy. This vasectomy is reversible and, so far, does not appear to have the problems a traditional vasectomy can have. Sperm is still able to leave the body meaning men will not suffer from pressure or granulomas that can sometimes occur after a traditional vasectomy. The procedure is called a reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance (RISUG) and instead of severing the vas deferens it involved injecting it with a non-toxic polymer. This incapacitates the sperm as it passes so they cannot fertilise an egg and the subject becomes azoospermic. Indian scientist Sujoy Guha has been working on RISUG for 30 years and it looks like RISUG might be available sooner rather than later.
Another form of male contraception in the works is a gel or implant using MENT®. MENT® is a synthetic steroid that, unlike normal steroids, will not enlarge the prostate. It suppresses sperm cell development with no detriment to the sex drive. Because it can infiltrate the blood stream through the skin it is not metabolised through the liver, therefore decreasing hormonal side effects.
There’s also something for those who don’t want to use hormones. It’s been known for 90 years or so that vitamin A is required for healthy sperm production. But only in the 1980s did researchers at the marvellously named pharmaceutical company Bristol-Meyers Squibb discover that a pan-retinoic acid receptor antagonist could disrupt sperm maturity. This method contraception is all very far in the future, currently more testing is required.
So men, in the next few years you should have the power to protect your sperm from the sperm stealers Liz Jones has revealed us women to be. Kate