Tuesday August 2, 2016
The long-acting, nonhormonal contraceptive - for men.
Advance: Vasalgel visible on ultrasound
Top: The human vas deferens on high-resolution ultrasound.
Bottom: Vasalgel in a dog vas deferens. Yep, that white spot is what the excitement is all about!
Once Vasalgel male contraceptive is available, how will the men who have it know that it's still in place? Of course the most important thing is the result -- zero sperm -- showing that it's working, and you can tell that with a semen test. But wouldn't it be nice to be able to see it, too? Enter ultrasound! Yes, an ultrasound scan -- the same kind commonly used in medical diagnosis -- can be used to confirm the presence of Vasalgel.

One of our scientific advisors was an author on an amazing 2009 paper that showed that the human vas deferens is visible, in beautiful detail, on ultrasound (Middleton WD et al 2009, "High-Resolution Sonography of the Normal Extrapelvic Vas Deferens," J Ultrasound Med 2009). (See the top photo at right.)

We wondered whether the same technique could be used to confirm the presence of Vasalgel in the canine vas deferens -- and yep, it can, as seen here. The section of vas is buried a little deeper in the dog, so you don't see the glorious detail, but it's enough to see that the Vasalgel is there, and how long a section.

This is good news -- this widely available technique should be usable to confirm the presence of Vasalgel in humans once human clinical trials begin, giving double assurance in addition to semen tests.
Vasalgel reversibility: How important?
Results of the opinion survey
A key goal for Vasalgel is that it would not only be an effective long-acting male contraceptive, but also be reversible: a Vasalgel user who decides he wants to have children would be able to get his sperm flow restored with the injection of a liquid that dissolves the gel. In rabbit studies, an injection of a dissolving solution was able to flush Vasalgel from the vas deferens and restore the sperm flow -- but this has proved trickier so far in larger animals. Will reversal work in men?

To better understand how much the answer matters to people who are interested in Vasalgel, we invited Vasalgel Update readers to take a brief survey.

4,467 of you responded. The great majority (87%) identified as "a guy who needs (or might need) contraception." These respondents were presented with additional questions, such as whether they'd consider freezing their sperm (a somewhat expensive option, unfortunately) as a way to "keep the door open" to having kids in the future in case Vasalgel isn't reliably reversible.

The upshot: Surprisingly many men thought it had worth even as a vasectomy alternative. Read the results and a sampling of comments from men and women in our "Latest News" blog.
Vasalgel early-stage supporters come through
Campaign raises $85k+
Parsemus Foundation rarely asks the many fans of Vasalgel to contribute money to the development of this new contraceptive option. Usually, it's enough that you spread the word about Vasalgel! But with expenses mounting in preparation for the first clinical trial, and discussions with social investors not yet underway, a funding gap loomed -- and this spring, we asked for your support.

And Vasalgel's supporters responded. This fundraising campaign raised more than $85,000, and covered almost two thirds of the cost to produce the batch of Vasalgel needed for the clinical trial.

We recognize everyone who donated prior to June 1 as an "early-stage supporter" of Vasalgel. Donors of $20+ received "I'm nuts about Vasalgel" stickers, and donors of $100+ also received the very last of the "No more monkeying around with contraception" stickers from the baboon study (if you should have received a sticker but didn't get one, please let us know).

And thanks again to the two Vasalgel supporters who each matched donations up to $5k -- a longtime fan in the Seattle area, and Damon Copeland of Tennessee.
We're working hard and are grateful for your support!

the Vasalgel™ team

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