close up of a nurse with a crescent moon tattoo on their inner wrist preparing a birth control injection
Luis Velasco/Stocksy United

There is a male birth control injection that is not available yet.

Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance (RISUG) has been in development for decades in India and is currently in Phase-III clinical trials. Its American counterpart, Vasalgel, is still in preclinical trials.

What we mean by “male”

We’re talking about sex assigned at birth, not gender identity or sexual orientation. That’s because these studies focus on contraceptives designed for the male reproductive system.

FYI, we cover birth control options for all men in the article Birth Control for Men Exists — But for Penis Havers, It’s Still Nonhormonal.

RISUG is a nonhormonal, reversible, polymer gel birth control injection that is currently in late-stage human trials in India. Vasalgel, which is being developed in the U.S., works the same way, but the polymers used and the formulation are different than those of RISUG.

RISUG and Vasagel work much like a vasectomy, minus the “snip.”

Rather than cutting the vas deferens — the paired tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the penis — RISUS or Vasagel is injected into it.

The scrotum is injected with a local anesthetic. RISUG or Vasalgel is injected into one vas deferens and then repeated on the other side.

“The gel sticks to the inner walls of the vas deferens so sperm can’t reach and fertilize an egg.”

Some research suggests that RISUG is 99 percent effective for up to 10 years. It’s also been shown to be completely reversible after an injection made primarily of sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) to flush it out.

Other than temporary scrotal swelling and mild scrotal and inguinal pain that resolved within a month, no adverse side effects were reported during human trials for RISUG.

Vasagel has not yet moved to clinical trials. According to a post on the manufacturer’s Facebook page, Vasagel likely won’t hit the market for a “few more years”.

There are currently over 100 potential targets being researched as potential male birth control methods. This includes methods that target sperm mobility, fertilization, sperm transport, and spermatogenesis.

“Let’s look at some of the options that are in the works.”

Nestorone and Testosterone Transdermal Gel

Researchers from the Population Council in collaboration with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development are currently conducting clinical trials of a combination hormonal male contraceptive gel.

“The gel is applied to the shoulders and absorbed through the skin. It targets the signaling systems for sperm production so sperm counts don’t go up.”

Research from 2019 showed the gel effectively lowered sperm counts to an effective contraception level in 84% of users.

Epididymal Protease Inhibitor (Eppin)

“A contraceptive pill that works by binding to a human sperm-forming molecule is being developed by a pharma company. The sperm aren’t able to swim to the egg tofertilize it because of this.”

The pill, which may be used on-demand or as a daily pill, is set to enter first-in-human studies.


The human trials for YCT529 are expected to start in late 2022.

Research presented at the American Chemical Society found that YCT529 was able to make mice sterile. It was 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy without any side effects. It was shown to be reversible after the same mice impregnated other mice after they stopped receiving YCT529.

The results might not translate to humans, even though it was effective in mice.

The researchers indicated during a media briefing that if trials start in 2022 and all goes well, YCT529 could be available in 5 years, possibly sooner.

Dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU)

The daily male contraceptive pill is called DMAU. It does this by suppressing testosterone without causing the symptoms associated with low testosterone.

There are also clinical trials for an injection.

Research suggests that DMAU is effective and well-tolerated with the exception of a few side effects similar to those often reported by people who use female hormonal contraceptives, like acne, headaches, and weight gain.

Contraline’s ADAM System hydrogel implant

Contraline’s ADAM System is a nonhormonal male contraceptive hydrogel implant. It won the Best Innovation award at the 2022 Women’s Health Innovation Series: Reproductive Health Innovation Summit in Boston.

The vas deferens are used to block sperm. The sperm that is blocked degrades and is absorbed by the body. The sperm can flow again after the product has been liquefies.

Until a new option gets approval and hits the market, it’s slim pickings for cisgender men who want to take the reins on birth control. Currently, condoms and vasectomy are the only effective birth control options available.


Condoms are a type of barrier protection that’s worn over the penis. They’re 98 percent effective with perfect use, dropping to 82 percent with typical use. The upside is that barriers, like condoms, are the only method that protects against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The only way to make condoms as effective a contraceptive as possible is to use them correctly every single time. That means rolling them onto your erect penis before it touches a partner’s vagina.

“There are other ways to increase condom’s birth control powers.”

  • Get the right size of condom, because using one that’s too small ups the chance of ripping it, while using one that’s too big can result in it slipping off.
  • Check the expiration date and avoid using condoms that are past their prime.
  • If you have scissors or teeth, open the packet with your fingers.
  • The tip should be pinched when you roll it on to make it free to collect your load. That extra can help prevent tearing.
  • Use lube, not just because it feels good, but also because it reduces friction and can help prevent the dreaded condom break.
  • Pull your paunch out of your partner while you are still erect, and hold the condom with one hand to prevent slippage.


Vasectomy is a permanent birth control method that involves cutting or blocking the vas deferens to prevent sperm from being released in your semen. It’s over 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.

“Vasectomies are supposed to be reversed, but not always. Unless you are certain you won’t want to reproduce down the road, it’s probably not the right choice.”

There are two ways in which to do avasectomy.

  • Surgical vasectomy. This method involves making two small incisions in the scrotum to access the vas deferens tubes. A small portion of the tube is removed and then either tied together or blocked with some tissue. The incisions are then either closed with stitches or left to heal on their own.
  • No-scalpel vasectomy. Instead of using a scalpel to make an incision, a single, tiny puncture is made in the skin of the scrotum to reach the vas deferens to cut or tie it. The skin puncture heals on its own without leaving a scar.

Things to keep in mind.

  • You can expect some mild pain, swelling, and bruised skin after a vasectomy.
  • It takes around 3 months for your semen to be sperm-free after a vasectomy.
  • You need to see a healthcare professional after 3 months to test your semen.
  • You need to use another method of birth control until your semen is free of sperm.
  • If you develop a symptom of an infection, like a sore throat, or a swollen or oozing mouth, you should call your healthcare professional.

The male birth control injection is not yet available to the public, but it could be in the next few years.

“A Canadian writer and author named Arida Santos- Longhurst has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. She can be found frolicking around her beach town with her husband and dogs in tow or trying to master the stand-up paddle board when she isn’t holed up in her writing shed.”