The history of birth control began with when humans first figured out that Tab ♂+ Slot ♀ = Baby, and attempted to challenge that equation. Birth Control is a regimen of one or more actions, devices, sexual practices, or medications followed in order to deliberately prevent or reduce the likelihood of pregnancy or childbirth for married couples and sexually active individuals. There are 3 forms of birth control viz prevention of fertilization, prevention of implantation and abortion. However out of the methods yet available, only a few score high in popularity due to the displeasure they might cause. Several forms of latest birth control methods are in pipeline which would be more effective and easier to use. While some women’s products are in development, the real future of birth control is men to control the massive sperm army unleashed. Contraceptives for guys could help women avoid the side-effects of hormonal pills and give men more control over their fertility. Here is preliminary showing into the future of contraception.
The SILCS diaphragm is a silicone barrier contraceptive device which is inserted vaginally to cover the cervix. Its dome is filled with BufferGel that acts both as a spermicide and microbicide that not only immobilizes the sperms but also kills them and fights infections. It functions identically to a normal contraceptive diaphragm, but avoids the need for many sizes and a pelvic exam for a correct fit; it is designed as a “one size fits most” device. The designers of the device relied heavily on results from studies of current and former diaphragm users and clinicians to improve acceptability and satisfaction. Women are evaluating the new device for comfort and ease-of-use in studies, underway in the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Thailand, and the United States.
9. Biodegradable Time Releasing Contraceptive Implant
Implanon is a newer birth control implant, receiving a very recent FDA-approval. This contraceptive implant is a thin rod, 40 mm in length and 2 mm in diameter — about the size of a cardboard matchstick. It’s made from a flexible plastic and is inserted just under the skin on the inner side of your upper arm. Implanon is a progestin-only method and provides about 3 years of pregnancy protection. Insertion requires a local anesthetic and only takes a few minutes. The implant can also be removed anytime before the 3 years are up. Implanon does not contain latex or silicone and will not dissolve, so it must be removed. Implanon continually releases a low dose of etonogestrel (a progestin) to protect against pregnancy for up to 3 years. After the third year, Implanon will still release some hormone, but it will not be enough to prevent pregnancy. Recently in pipeline is a biodegradable contraceptive Implant that does not require surgical removal, consists of long-acting contraceptive capsule-type implant-CaproF.
Sperm are best produced at a temperature slightly below body temperature. The muscles around a male’s scrotum involuntarily tighten if the man’s body temperature drops, and they loosen, allowing the testes to hang, if the body temperature rises. This is the body’s way of keeping the sperm at an ideal temperature. Limited research has shown that raising the temperature of the scrotum above body temperature, even for short periods of time, can affect fertility for months. An experimental male contraceptive method involves heating the testicles so that they cannot produce sperm. Methods used include hot water applied to the scrotum, heat generated by ultrasound, and artificial cryptorchidism (holding the testicles inside the abdomen) using specialized briefs. Initial experiments suggest it is effective, safe, and reversible, though there have not been long-term studies to determine if it has any side effects on the body or quality of sperm after reversal. The optimal heat level and time period of exposure are not known. The method has a long history in Middle Eastern countries, particularly Turkey.
Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance (RISUG), is the development name of a male contraceptive developed at IIT Kharagpur in India by Dr. Sujoy K Guha. It is currently undergoing Phase III clinical trials in India. It has been patented in India, China, Bangladesh and the United States. RISUG works by an injection into the vas deferens, the vessel through which the sperm moves before ejaculation. In a matter of minutes, the injection coats the walls of the vas with a clear gel. The differential charge from the gel ruptures the sperm’s cell membrane as it passes through the vas, stopping the sperm before they can even start their journey to the egg.
Anti Fertility or the Contraceptive vaccines (CVs) may provide viable and valuable alternatives that can fulfill most, if not all, properties of an ideal contraceptive. Since both the developed and most of the developing nations have an infrastructure for mass immunisation, the development of vaccines for contraception is an exciting proposition. The molecules that are being explored for CV development either target gamete production (GRH, FSH and LH), gamete function (ZP) or gamete outcome (hCG). Disadvantages of CVs targeting gamete production are that they affect sex steroids and/or show only a partial effect in reducing fertility. CVs targeting gamete function are better choices. Vaccines based on ZP proteins are quite efficacious in producing contraceptive effects. However, they invariably induce oophoritis affecting sex steroids. Sperm antigens constitute the most promising and exciting targets for CVs. Several sperm-specific antigens have been delineated in several laboratories and are being actively explored for CV development. Antisperm antibody-mediated immunoinfertility provides a naturally occurring model to indicate how an antisperm vaccine will work in humans. Vaccines targeting gamete outcome primarily focus on the hCG molecule. The hCG vaccine is the first vaccine to undergo phase I and II clinical trials in humans. Both the efficacy and the lack of immunotoxicity have been reasonably well demonstrated for this vaccine.