Indian researchers probing further developments for a male contraceptive have narrowed down on a protein that is capable of restraining male fertility temporarily.
Research studies and experiments by a team led by A Bandivdekar, from the National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH) have worked on a vaccine which could be employed as an alternative to condoms, to offset accidental pregnancies.
The initial phase of research has been conducted on rats, rabbits and different species of monkeys. Human trials are expected in the near future.
"It is difficult to give a specific time-frame when it will be ready for actual marketing as a vaccine. The vaccine-candidate currently undergoing tests on animals, after which it will be ready for pre-clinical toxicology trials only after another year or so," Bandivdekar explained. The molecule zeroed in by the NIRRH team is "sperm-specific", and may bring about temporary infertility without changing other body proteins.
The prevailing methods of male contraception- condoms, withdrawal method and vasectomy have helped but each come with their own set of disadvantages. While condoms and withdrawal method embody high failure rates, vasectomy is reliable yet chances of reversal are few and far between.
The time is indeed ripe for a new contraceptive method that is completely effective, safe affordable and reversible without too may problems.