New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has announced the successful development of a male contraceptive injection that can prevent pregnancy for up to 13 years with no side effects. The injection, named RISUG (Reversible Inhibition of Sperm), is a non-hormonal injectable contraceptive that works by destroying the sperm in the sperm ducts.
The ICMR conducted a seven-year trial of RISUG on 303 healthy men aged between 25 and 40, who were married and sexually active with their wives. The men volunteered to participate in the trial and received a single injection of 60 mg RISUG in their sperm ducts under local anesthesia. The injection was found to be 99.02 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and safe for both the men and their wives.
The trial results have been published in the international open-access journal Andrology. According to the researchers, RISUG is a breakthrough innovation that can offer a long-term and reversible method of contraception for men, who currently have limited options such as condoms, vasectomy, or withdrawal. RISUG can also reduce the burden of contraception on women, who often face health risks and social stigma from using hormonal pills, intrauterine devices, or sterilization.
RISUG works by injecting highly charged polymers into the inner wall of the sperm ducts, which then neutralize the negatively charged sperm when they come in contact with them. The neutralized sperm lose their ability to fertilize the egg and are eliminated from the body. RISUG can be reversed by injecting another substance that dissolves the polymers and restores the fertility of the men.
The ICMR is now seeking approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to launch RISUG in the market. The ICMR hopes that RISUG will be available to the public by 2024 and will be affordable and accessible to all men who want to use it. The ICMR also plans to conduct further studies on RISUG’s efficacy, safety, and reversibility in different populations and settings.