A new breakthrough contraceptive procedure on its way

Dr Sujoy Guha


RISUG Procedure

For people who do not want more children than they already have and looking for a contraceptive answer there is a new breakthrough in reversible vasectomy with a procedure called RISUG developed in India. RISUG or (Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance) is an injectible contraceptive procedure for men tested by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for the last ten years and is now in the third and last phase of the clinical trials. If everything goes as planned the contraceptive procedure which involves injecting the Vas Deferens ”“ the tube that carries sperms with a spermicidal polymer, will hit the market in three years.

The injection has been invented by an Indian researcher Dr. Sujoy K Guha who works with the department of biomedical engineering at IIT and AIIMS. He stumbled upon the contraceptive while working on a way to purify drinking water. The injection consists of a polymer styrene maleic anhydride that renders sperms ineffective and has already been patented in India, China, Bangladesh and the US.

The procedure takes hardly ten minutes as the men undergo tests for various medical diseases including cancer prior to the procedure which is carried out under a local anaesthetic.

British-trained physicians in India are in the midst of phase 3 clinical trials with 500 men and Dr. Sujoy Guha has carried out the procedure on 700 men who opted for the new technique since the early 1990s.

RISUG research has involved rats, mice, rabbits, two varieties of monkeys as well as human trials spanning a 12- year period. No toxicity, carcinogenicity, or future birth defects of offspring have been found. Among the side effects of the new procedure is swelling.

Reversal involves flushing the hydro gel out with sodium bicarbonate solution or by a manual manipulation performed by a physician rather than several hours of surgery under general anesthetic to reverse a vasectomy.

Some of the advantages, according to Dr. Guha. He explained in an interview that there are reasonable advantages as an effect of this substance.-“this is the advantages of my new formula”- Dr. Guha stated.

Effectiveness – There has been only one unplanned pregnancy among partners of the 250 men who have been injected RISUG ”” apparently due to an improperly administered injection. 15 of these men received the injection more than 10 years ago.

Convenience – There is no interruption before the sexual act.

Non-invasiveness – The process, once it is refined and approved, is expected to be operation-free. Men can leave the hospital immediately after an injection and resume their normal sex lives within a week.

Duration of effect – According to Guha, a single 60 mginjection can be effective for at least 10 years.

Reduced side effects – After testing RISUG on more than 250 volunteers, neither Guha nor other researchers in the field report side effects other than a slight scrotal swelling in some men immediately following the injection, which goes away after a few weeks, though there are also unconfirmed reports of kidney problems (see Controversy section below for further details).

Reversible – The contraceptive action appears to be reversible by flushing the vas deferens with another injection of dimethyl sulfoxide or sodium bicarbonate solution. Although this reversal procedure has been tried only on primates, it has been repeatedly successful. Unlike in a vasectomy, the vas deferens is not completely blocked, the body doesn’t have to absorb the blocked sperm, and sperm antibodies are not produced in large numbers, making successful reversal more likely than with a vasovasostomy.

Once this form of contraception is released into the market, it could displace the use of condoms. Unlike condoms,  RISUG provides no protection against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. A study, however, is underway to test the efficacy of RISUG as an anti-HIV agent, due to a hypothesis that the styrene maleic acid lowers pH to a level sufficient to destroy HIV in semen.

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