Getting Your Tubes Filled

Jon Clinkenbeard urges more people to pay attention to what he calls "the best birth control in the world":

If I were going to describe the perfect contraceptive, it would go something like this: no babies, no latex, no daily pill to remember, no hormones to interfere with mood or sex drive, no negative health effects whatsoever, and 100 percent effectiveness. The funny thing is, something like that currently exists. The procedure called RISUG in India (reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance) takes about 15 minutes with a doctor, is effective after about three days, and lasts for 10 or more years.

A doctor applies some local anesthetic, makes a small pinhole in the base of the scrotum, reaches in with a pair of very thin forceps, and pulls out the small white vas deferens tube. Then, the doctor injects the polymer gel (called Vasalgel here in the US), pushes the vas deferens back inside, repeats the process for the other vas deferens, puts a Band-Aid over the small hole, and the man is on his way. If this all sounds incredibly simple and inexpensive, that’s because it is. The chemicals themselves cost less than the syringe used to administer them.

Eleanor Ray questions why there hasn't been more progress in the US:

Female humans have been presented with lots of ways to prevent the S from getting to the E and making the B, whether it be taking crazy hormones (mine make me menstruate only every six months, and throw up immediately if I try to smoke a cigarette), more rubber bits, intensive scheduling, or passing pieces of copper through their cervixes. Hilariously, the closest the RISUG people have gotten to international validation is a "$100,000 Gates Foundation grant to pursue a variation of RISUG in the fallopian tubes as a female contraceptive." WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? 

There's now a petition to get the procedure funded here in the States.

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