Vasectomies May Become Less Invasive, More Easily Reversible

The Parsemus Foundation has developed Vasalgel, an injectable nonhormonal gel polymer that effectively stops sperm from passing through the male vas deferens on a long-term basis.

"Sorry, sperm. Not in my house." Photo by Norma Gonzalez

Here’s another one for all you chomping at the bit for more riveting advances in the field of male contraceptive options: Vasalgel, a gel polymer that’s injected into the male vas deferens, creating a roadblock for sperm traveling through the channel—effectively a vasectomy, minus the slice n’ dice. Fluids can still pass through the barrier, but your swimmers will be stuck at the gate. The team behind Vasalgel at Parsemus Foundation, which focuses on innovative and neglected medical research, is touting it as a less invasive, more easily reversible vasectomy, as they offer a separate injection to dissolve the polymer barrier, thus allowing a man’s sperm to carry on as before.

The director of Parsemus, Elaine Lissner, points to successful animal trials conducted on baboons and rabbits that they saw bode well for future human testing that will hopefully begin early next year. In comparison with contraceptives for women, Lissner says Vasalgel’s female equivalent would be the IUD device, telling Yahoo Health that, “So far, it’s even a little better.”

Ideally, if all goes well with the 2015 clinical trials, the Parsemus team is keeping their fingers crossed that Vasalgel could be on the market within three years. They realize that projected timeline seems pretty fast, but they remain optimistic moving toward their goal as around 20,000 men and women have signed up to hear more about clinical trials. Lissner says this is indicative of larger societal change in more men being interested in contraceptive options beyond condoms and potentially painful surgical methods.

Yet, Vasalgel as a replacement for the standard vasectomy isn’t without its critics. Male fertility expert and vasectomy reversal specialist Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt is wary of people jumping on board without evidence that the polymer gel won’t cause permanent damage in the long run. “My fear is that scarring from the injection of a gel barrier might prevent a reversal. Since there’s no long-term data on this, there’s no guarantee about the effectiveness of a reversal,” he told Yahoo Health.

And so, we wait for conclusive evidence, though wholeheartedly encouraged by both the progress made and increasing thought being given to expanding the male contraceptive market.


Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News

An anonymous White House official claims President Trump cruelly limited Hispanic immigrants in their new book, "A Warning."

The book, to be released on November 19, gives an alleged insider account of the Trump White House and paints a picture of the president as a chaotic man who lacks the mental and moral acumen required for the job.

The anonymous staffer says that Trump once feigned a Hispanic accent and made fun of women attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

Keep Reading Show less
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
Yad Vashem

Since 1992, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has been holding reunion ceremonies between Holocaust survivors and rescuers once a year. But the tradition is coming to an end, as many have died or are too frail to travel. What might be the last reunion of its kind took place when a 92-year-old woman met up with the two surviving family members that she helped hide during the Holocaust, and their descendants.

Sarah Yanai and Yossi Mor introduced Melpomeni Dina (nee Gianopoulou) to their almost 40 family members, all decedents of the Mordechai family, the family of seven that Dina and her two sisters hid during WWII. "There are no words to describe this feeling," Dina told the Jeruselum Post. "It is very emotional for us to be together again."

Keep Reading Show less
via Facebook / Autumn Dayss

Facebook user and cosplayer Autumn Dayss has stirred up a bit of Halloween controversy with her last-minute costume, an anti-Vaxx mother.

An image she posted to the social network shows a smiling Dayss wearing a baby carrier featuring a small skeleton. "Going to a costume party tonight as Karen and her non-vaccinated child," the caption over the image reads.

Keep Reading Show less