Scientists are excited by the success of a new contraceptive gel tested on monkeys over the past two years.
Named ‘Vasalgel’, the gel provides a physical barrier in the tubes which carry sperm to the penis.
The contraceptive is injected under anaesthetic and in theory, a second injection would dissolve the gel plug.
The University of California tested the gel on 16 fertile adult male monkeys, 10 of whom had already fathered offspring.
Although mating did occur, no female was impregnated throughout the duration of the trial which covered two mating periods.
While the study illustrates the effectiveness of this gel as a contraceptive, the science community are waiting for evidence that the procedure is reversible.
Crucially, the non-profit company researching Vasalgel has depended on grants and fundraising thus far because pharmaceutical companies have little interest in the concept.
Although experts suggest that some men would be willing to try the gel, others are not quite ready to take such responsibility for contraception.
This reluctance leads many to conclude that male contraceptives aren’t yet commercially viable.