Safe sex is a necessary thing to practice if you’re someone who enjoys bumping uglies with people. Things like birth control are a must have if you’re participating in casual sex, or even monogamous sex – but a lot of that responsibility is put on women using the oral contraceptive pill.
A new company, based in the US state of Virginia is researching a relatively pain-free way to share the responsibility of birth control between men and women by developing a reversible male birth control procedure.
Contraline is the brainchild of Kevin Eisenfrats and his late research partner John Hurr. Eiensfrats met Hurr at the University of Virginia School of Medicine as a research assistant and the two came together and collaborated a gel that’s inserted into the Vas deferens (the tubes which carry ejaculate.)
The gel, called Echo-V, is injected non-surgically into the Vas deferens via ultrasound using a technique they’re calling Vasintomy – making it a day surgery procedure at best. This technique is also less invasive and safer than the traditional Vasectomy as there are no actual surgeries involved.
As their video explains, Echo-V blocks sperms from travelling through the system, but allows fluid to continue through without trouble. As Eisenfrats told TechCrunch, “For lack of a better word, the guy is literally shooting blanks.”
The procedure is also easily reversible by using a similar technique to insert a solution which dissolves the gel, allowing your little guys to swim free.
Contraline and Echo-V are the solution to a problem which faces both men and women. As mentioned in the YouTube video above, condoms have a failure rate of 18% and a 57% dissatisfaction rate causing men to explore unethical strategies like stealthing. And the oral contraceptive for women is known to cause blood clots, hormonal changes, migraine headaches, cardiovascular disease and even cancer- causing millions of women to avoid the pill, despite its benefits.
It’s worth also mentioning that Contraline won’t really protect you against STIs which are spread via fluids (infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluid) or infected skin. As Echo-V provides no external protection to users, the risk of STIs being transmitted from person to person is incredibly high. Eisenfrats says that “The people this is for are couples in a long-term relationship.”
Contraline is being met with widespread praise from critics and investors are throwing money their way to continue to develop the procedure. Echo-V is currently going through the FDA approvals process and Contraline’s developers are anticipating a 4-5 year wait before it’s commercials available.