Tag Archives: Family Planning

Male Contraception with One Simple Shot

For generations, preventing pregnancy has fallen mostly on women. Men have few ways to help, aside from often ineffective condoms.

With abortion now illegal in many states, the need for contraception is the greatest in 50 years.

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So I was excited to learn today about an amazing new male contraceptive called Contraline.

Contraline is an injectable gel that blocks sperm before they’re ever released. It has no effect on hormones and ejaculation happens as normal.

The roughly 30 minute procedure happens in an outpatient clinic and remains effective for at least a year.

The gel, called ADAM, is set to enter clinical trials this year.

It works by setting up a barrier in the vas deferens. This barrier blocks the sperm from leaving the body.

When the gel has reached the end of its lifespan, it liquefies, removing the barrier.

Development of male contraceptives has long been stifled by a lack of research funding. Government grants have gone mostly to contraceptive options for women.

But as more federal dollars and venture capital pour into male contraceptive development, things are beginning to change.

University of Minnesota researchers have developed a male birth control pill that’s 99% effective in mice. They hope to begin human trials this year.

A contraceptive gel for men is also in development. But that too is likely five years or more from market.

Should Contraline or another male contraceptive come to market, couples would have more options than ever. Many women find IUD’s painful and birth control pills fraught with side effects.

What’s more, men have had to trust their partners to handle contraception. If men could do it themselves, society may look much different.

John Reynolds-Wright, a male contraceptive researcher at the University of Edinburgh, may have said it best:

“Maybe I’m overstating how exciting it is, but I always think of it like the iPhone. We couldn’t have imagined how the iPhone would impact on our lives until it was invented. And actually, this is something that’s got the potential to completely, radically change how we talk about family planning, about relationships, about sex.”

I hope the awesome team at Contraline can get their product to market and change the lives of couples worldwide. If men and women can share the contraceptive burden more equally, we’ll have a better world!

What do you think the future holds for male contraceptives? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

Have a great weekend everyone! 👋

More on tech:

Male Contraception With an Ultrasound Device?

Inside the Seed Funding Slowdown

The Top 5 Things I’ve Learned from Angel Investing

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How Planned Parenthood Is Providing Critical Care…Even in a Pandemic

Providing critical medical care to patients who sometimes have very few resources, all in the face of enormous political opposition, is challenging at the best of times. The pandemic has made it even harder. But Planned Parenthood is adjusting rapidly to make sure that people who need help get it.

I just got off a Planned Parenthood Federation of America Leadership Briefing call, and the steps they’ve taken to keep helping people in a difficult time really impressed me. Here are some of the great things they’re doing:

  • Reaching 25 million people online in 2020 with sex ed, counseling and telehealth
  • Using a new chat text program available in Spanish to provide counseling and information to those who may not be comfortable in English
  • Training staff nationwide how to provide sex ed online, as opposed to the usual in person offerings
  • Providing COVID vaccine safety information to patients. Many patients trust Planned Parenthood, so hearing from a trusted voice that the vaccines are safe can mean a lot!

I was also impressed that not only are they offering telehealth, they’re gathering data to measure how well it works. This data-driven approach tells you that donor dollars are in good hands.

I couldn’t helped but be incredibly impressed with the hard work of the PPFA staff under these most difficult of circumstances. If you want to support their work, you can donate here.

Bonus: One of the attendees mentioned that they worked at Pandia Health, a company I had never heard of. It is a startup in Sunnyvale, CA that provides birth control by mail on a convenient, subscription model. As an investor, I was intrigued. The Yelp reviews look impressive. I’m gathering more information.

Photo: “Rally to support Planned Parenthood” by Fibonacci Blue is licensed under CC BY 2.0