· Birth controlAlso known as contraceptive andfertility control, is a method that individuals and couples adopt in order toprevent pregnancy. It has been in use since ancient times but its importancenow is widely accepted and new, safe, effective and easy birth control optionsare emerging out day by day.· BACKSTORY- Something that every invention andlove story has.
When it comes to human reproduction,people say that men have it easy. They don’t get pregnant and carry the baby ordeliver it. But when it comes to preventing pregnancy, the tables turn.
Womenhave numerous contraceptive options available to them while men, face a greaterchallenge. It’s easy to block one egg that is released every month butdifficult to block millions of sperms that is released during intercourse. Formen the available options are-Ø Condoms- Can fail and to buy it every time and itsuse and disposal is a problem especially in the rural conservative households.Ø Vasectomy- It’sa surgical procedure wherein the vas deferens is cut and sealed to block theentry of the sperm into the urethra.
It is shunned for emasculation and alsonot everyone would want to undergo a surgery and that too a permanent one. So, a male contraceptive that was morereliable than condom and less adverse than vasectomy was needed. Hope soon arrived in the form of amethod known as RISUG- REVERSIBLE INHIBITIONOF SPERM UNDER GUIDANCE. It is amale contraceptive injection developed at IIT, Kharagpur in India by the teamof DR.
Sujoy.K.Guha. When asked why he wanted to develop amale contraceptive?”I wanted to be different” says DR.Guha.· FROM LAB TO LIFEIn the 1970s, hebegan his work on cost-effective and simple techniques to purify rural watersystems.
He discovered that if he coated pipes with a common polymer called styrene maleic anhydride, it could kill thebacteria present in that pipe. The process was based on differential chargeexisting on the polymer and the bacteria. Polymer being positively and bacteriabeing negatively charged. Thus, the attractive forces can pull them apart.
Guha was well accustomed to the disadvantagesexisting with the already available options of male contraceptives. Guha wondered if the same polymer could work for malecontraception. After all, as we can see the water pipe was analogous to the vasdeferens and the bacteria moving in it is analogous to sperm moving in the vasdeferens. Thus,he and his students developed RISUG.· MECHANISMOF ACTION-Firstly, the doctor creates a small hole, big enough tolocate the vas deferens and then injects 70mg of the liquid that is SMA ( styrene maleic acid).
After fewminutes the polymer solidifies and then clings on to the inner lining of vasdeferens giving it a net positive charge. The passage of sperm (negativelycharged) is not blocked as such but the conditions are such that the tails coilup, cell membranes burst and its efficacy is lost. Thus, the semen that comesout is a collection of sperms that are good for nothing and highly disabled. · ADVANTAGES-Ø Thegel lasts for about 8 to 10 years but it is easily reversible too as anotherinjection of sodium bicarbonate can easily dissolve the polymer. Thus, the personcan actually reverse the process as and when he wants.
Ø Greatfeasibility and long-lasting sterility.· CLINICALHISTORY The phase I and phase II clinical trials were published in1993 and 1997. An extended phase III clinical trial is ongoing. Unfortunately, the advancement of this injectable polymer is slow.
However, in February2010, the Parsemus Foundation, licensed the rights to develop RISUG — asVasalgel — in the United States.· ITS NOT THEEND-Is he excited that the drug is nearly past clinical trials?Or disheartened that it took this long? He offers a nugget of wisdom that heinherited from his father: “One should never be happy or sad about anything.”