Other nonhormonal methods
In immunological approaches to contraception, the body is tricked into attacking its own sperm. Recently, a notable success in a small monkey study got wide press coverage (O’Rand M et al., 2004). However, immunological approaches have been plagued by uncertain return of fertility — and inter-species differences make animal successes more difficult to translate to humans than with other methods. For a thorough overview of immunocontraceptive research, see MaleContraceptives.org.
One doctor in Yugoslavia is sending electrical shocks through the testes to reportedly disable the sperm for about ten days (Ananova, 2005). However, based on other researchers’ results with similar approaches, this approach may lead to tissue death and lowered testosterone levels over time (personal communication, Prof. S.K. Guha , Nov. 14, 2005).
A non-reversible method that is currently being tested in animals is epididymal injection of calcium chloride dihydrate. Calcium chloride destroys the epididymal tissue where sperm are stored, but does not affect testosterone production, which occurs in the Leydig cells of the testes. Dr. Kuladip Jana of India is currently studying this procedure in rats. Time will tell if it is a viable option for sterilization without surgery. For more information, see the calcium chloride sterilization webpage.
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