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Are there alternatives for men?

Are there alternative male contraceptives other than vasectomy or condoms?

In short - not at present. Vasclip is a new addition, but that is still a variation of vasectomy. Over the years, all sorts of ideas have been tried ranging from wearing very tight, sweaty underpants to an implanted tap. Don't laugh - it's true! Research is always ongoing into alternatives, and occasionally something or other blips above the radar - usually to disappear just as quickly! Our other site has a page of links to research into alternative methods of contraception for men.

The Vasclip procedure

Vasclip was given FDA approval in August 2002, and was launched in the US in April 2003. The device doesn't have approval for use in countries outside the US at present. Vasclip is a clip about the size of a grain of rice that is placed over the vas deferens to seal it instead of cutting it. Apart from this one difference, the technique used is otherwise very similar to standard NSV vasectomy.

Using a clip does not mean that Vasclip is more likely to be reversible. Vasectomy clips were first trialled back in the 1950's and it was found that scar tissue formed over the clip, meaning that it wasn't just a simple matter of unclipping it to restore fertility. Vasclip do not claim it's any easier to reverse than conventional techniques, and like conventional techniques men considering it should view it as permanent sterilisation.

Until April 2006, the only came from the Vasclip original clinical trial of 124 men. The first independent study into the effectiveness and complications of Vasclip was published in April 2006. The main conclusion was that the device failed due to misplacement in roughly 2.5% of cases. A second independent study found that the failure rate of the device was 25%. However, there were only a total of 8 men in the study. What the researchers found was that though the clip could be correctly positioned, new channels for the sperm form through the process of scar tissue and spermatic granuloma's. This is the primary cause of vasectomy failure in the other methods in regular use, and the reason the fascial interposition technique is combined with conventional surgery. Fascial interposition is where the end of the severed vas deferens are folded over and buried in different levels of muscular tissue - well away from each other, to stop this happening. There is an interesting article on vasweb.com. It's written by a physician who regularly practices conventional vasectomy, and offers Vasclip in addition.

However, all of the above may well be completely immaterial. As of June 2007 the Vasclip website is down, and they do not answer emails. It appears the company have ceased trading.

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Disclaimer:- Information contained within this site is intended for the purpose of general information ONLY, and is not medical advice. For medical advice please consult a qualified Physician.