Vasalgel is a vasectomy alternative, currently still in its research stages that may be ready to hit the mainstream market by 2017.
Vasalgel is a polymer hydrogel that is injected into a man's vas deferens. The gel binds to the walls of the vas deferens and forms a "semi-solid plug" that prohibits sperm from passing through the channel into the semen during ejaculation.
The difference between Vasalgel and Vasectomy is that Vasalgel is reversible by injecting a reversal agent into the vas deferens to dissolve the Vasalgel plug. This reversal procedure is certainly simpler than a vasectomy reversal surgery that is not covered by insurance and certainly not guaranteed to work.
For men electing for long-term sterility, Vasalgel needs to be reinjected every 10 years.
While the benefits of Vasalgel certainly sound interesting, long term studies and human trials have yet to take place. A study in baboons involved injecting three male baboons with Vasalgel and letting them interact with 10-15 female baboons 6 months later resulted in no pregnancies during the trial period.
Vasalgel certainly seems like an interesting alternative to vasectomy. However it should be noted that for men who are looking to achieve permanent sterility, vasectomy remains the gold standard. Vasectomy is a simple to perform office-based procedure with a long term efficacy greater than 99%.