A new contraceptive based antibodies it could be that different option that so many users are asking for. It is still under study by scientists from Boston University and the ZabBio Company. In fact, it has only been tested in vitro, in the laboratory, and human trials have only just begun phase 1.

The very promising results should be viewed with caution until the investigation continues to escalate. But it would be great if it prospered, because not only would it be very effective in pregnancy prevention. It could also be modified to, incidentally, prevent the spread of certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

This is what we know at the moment about this new contraceptive, the first results of which have been published in the journal EBioMedicine.

Why is there so much effort to find a new contraceptive?

Today, we have many contraceptive methods in the market. The preservative It is the only one that, in addition to preventing pregnancy, prevents the spread of sexually transmitted infections. However, many people with a penis complain that they find it uncomfortable. Most likely it is because they have not found the right size. Also exist vaginal condoms, but its use is less widespread.

Most contraceptives on the market have many side effects, are expensive, or are uncomfortable for users

On the other side are the hormonal contraceptives, either in pills or patches, and devices such as the IUD. This is a copper device, which is placed in the uterus to prevent the passage of sperm. On the one hand, its T-shape acts as a physical barrier and, on the other, the material from which it is made has good spermicidal power. Also, some can release hormones, making fertilization even more difficult.

The problem is that all these options are either considered uncomfortable or expensive or have many side effects, as with hormones. For this reason, many scientists have been searching for a new contraceptive for years. All kinds of options have begun to be developed, from a kind of switch that prevents the passage of sperm until gels that are injected into the vas deferens of the penis. But they were still expensive, annoying, or the investigations were simply unsuccessful. Given this problem, the antibody-based contraceptive currently being developed could be a great option.

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Photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition on Unsplash

Antibodies against sperm

This new product is made up of what they have dubbed human contraception antibodies (HCA).

Antibodies are administered as a gel over the vagina

It consists of a gel, which would be administered into the vagina, and contains antibodies directed at CD52g, a sperm-specific protein. Thus, when semen comes into contact with the vagina, the antibodies they bind to the sperm, producing their agglutination and preventing them from moving to the ovum.

So far, it has been tested in the laboratory, with human donor sperm. Agglutination occurred in only 15 seconds, so it was very effective. They have also tested it on vaginal-like tissue cultures to check that there is no irritation or inflammation similar to that produced during an immune response. This did not happen, so it seems that, in addition to being effective, it would be safe.

However, it is still necessary to try this new contraceptive in vivo, directly on people. Therefore, a clinical trial, but the first phase, so we will have to wait a long time to know its effectiveness.

Even if all this comes to fruition, HCAs would still not be effective against sexually transmitted infections. Although these scientists consider that it could modify its composition, adding new antibodies that target the most common infectious agents.

Until all this happens, the condom remains the only option that, in addition to preventing pregnancy, prevents STIs. So, put it on, put it on. And do not start penetration without him and without notifying the other person. Don’t be a jerk.