Advance: Vasalgel visible on ultrasound

Linda Brent, PhD

Executive Director, Parsemus Foundation

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.

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