New male birth control could hit the market within 5 years

Men could soon be given a chance to use their own birth control soon. Male contraception will allow men to have more control over their decisions to have children.

Dr Shingai Mutambirwa says there has been a lot of research and trials going into the development of what's dubbed as the "male pill".

There are some drawbacks to the pill however. It is not 100% effective - 12% of the patients on trial were still having effective sperm. And once the participants stopped taking the pill, they also found that their testicles did not recover. This is a concern for men who still want to have children in future.

So this new gel male contraceptive may be a better option.

It could be made available within the next five years. The contraception is a gel-like device that is injected into the vas deferens where they harden and block sperm from leaving the body.

It blocks the tube that carries the sperm and Dr Mutambira says in theory should be reversible.

Some of them are based on different substances and gels and some of them have magnets in them but the exciting part is that that they might be reversible

Dr Shingai Mutambirwa, Urologist

This new development as an alternative to vasectomy, he says. The exciting part is that it takes just a few minutes to initiate, unlike vasectomy which requires an operation.

He says although vasectomy is reversible in about 80% of men, its a very lengthy procedure that needs special skills.

Listen to the full conversation below:


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