Women have a wide range of contraceptive options from which to choose, while men have had to rely on condoms or vasectomy. Now there is a new male contraceptive device that takes 15 minutes or less to implant, requires no cutting, and the procedure is reversible.
A male contraceptive pill is not yet available, but now there is Pro-Vas, the first male contraceptive procedure that involves implanting a tiny titanium spring clip, which stops the flow of sperm. The procedure can be done in a doctor’s office without a need for general anesthesia.
The clip is pre-loaded into an applicator that the doctor uses to place the device into the vas deferens, the two tubes that transport sperm from the testes to the urethra. According to the manufacturer’s (MenRX Surgical/Gyrx LLC) website, the clip uses a titanium torsion spring to apply continuous pressure onto the vas, which stops the flow of sperm.
Men who undergo this procedure must continue to use another form of birth control for 2 to 3 months post implantation, until the body is able to eliminate all the sperm that remains in the system. Doctors conduct a sperm check at six and twelve weeks after the procedure to make sure all sperm has been stopped and the device can be relied upon as a form of birth control.
Most men can resume their normal activities in less than one day after the procedure. Possible complications include bruising of the scrotum, infection of the puncture in the scrotum, failure by the physician to place one or both clips correctly, and failure to become azoospermatic (no measurable sperm) within three months.
The only other male contraceptive procedure for males is a vasectomy, which involves cutting the vas deferens to stop the flow of sperm. A newer non-scalpel method for vasectomy involves only one or two tiny openings in the skin and causes less discomfort and chance of infection than the traditional method.
Similar to men who undergo a vasectomy, men who have the Pro-Vas clip still produce sperm in the testes, but it is absorbed by the body since it is unable to pass through the vas tubes. Neither a vasectomy nor implantation of this device changes a man’s sex drive, erections, sperm quality, climax sensation, testes, or scrotum.
The failure rate for vasectomy is less than 1 percent. There are no current data that proves Pro-Vas’ effectiveness is the same as or greater than a traditional vasectomy. Unlike a vasectomy, which is considered permanent even though it can be reversed in some cases, Pro-Vas is easily reversible with a standard vasovasostomy procedure.
The new male contraceptive procedure is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is available to doctors across the United States. Bill Dennis, CEO of MenRx Surgical, a Gyrx LLC portfolio company that created Pro-Vas, notes that “I think it will completely change the way we think about male birth control.”
Gyrx LLC news release