Sperm blocking vaginal gel, A New Method of Contraception

Last Updated on February 5, 2023 by Dr Bucho

Sperm blocking vaginal gel that is applied inside the vagina and studies say it could be a new method of contraception and could be an alternative to hormonal contraception for humans.

As hormonal methods of birth control, such as birth control pills and hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), are very effective but can cause side effects, including mood swings, breast pain, nausea, and headache. while on the other hand Non-hormonal methods like condoms, diaphragms, and fertility apps don’t have these side effects, but tend to be less reliable at preventing pregnancy.

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This method was developed by Ulrike Schimpf at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and Along with her colleagues have developed a hormone-free vaginal gel that may work as well as hormonal contraceptives but without the side effects.

The gel contains chitosan, a biopolymer that is derived from fungus or crab shells. The chitosan forms cross-links with proteins that are secreted in cervical mucus. This thickens the mucus so that it blocks sperm from getting past the cervix and into the fallopian tubes, where egg fertilization occurs. credit: Newsscientist

In this method, Using a syringe applicator, the gel was injected into the sheep vagina, which is similar to the human vagina, on their backs. An hour later, they artificially suckled 1 billion sperm into each of the eight sheep studied.

It was found that the gel had permeated the vagina and the entrance of the cervix. The gel in the cervix of one of the sheep in the study served as an effective barrier, as just two of the 1 billion swimming sperm were able to pass through. Proving that sperm blocking vaginal gel could be an alternative to hormonal contraception for humans.

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