Vasectomies and condoms have traditionally been the only ways men can use contraception, but a Los Angeles-based health startup wants to change that.
NEXT Life Sciences is pioneering Plan A, a procedure in which men pay a 10-minute visit to a doctor to receive an injection of a hydrogel into the vas deferens — the 30-centimeter tube that transports sperm.
Once injected, the hydrogel morphs into a semi-solid, thick, and sticky substance that filters sperm out of semen during ejaculation — maintaining its efficacy for 10 years, according to the company.
“It’s all of the juice and none of the seed,” L.R. Fox, the 29-year-old founder and CEO of NEXT Life Sciences, told The Post.
A man who wishes to reverse the process and unblock the flow of sperm can pay another visit to the doctor for an injection of sodium bicarbonate, which dissolves the hydrogel.
Fox told The Post that the procedure is designed to be “quick, safe and simple.”
He said that he anticipates that demand for Plan A will be high because condoms aren’t always effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Fox also cited studies showing that women said their partner’s condom use took away from sexual satisfaction.
He said that men between the ages of 18 and 45 are ideal customers given that they are more likely to say “I don’t want a child right now but I might want one in the future.”
“The huge demand we’re seeing is from young professionals in committed relationships,” Fox told The Post.
He said Plan A is a safer and more equitable alternative since “the burden [of contraception] falls squarely on the woman.”
Methods of female contraception that range from birth control pills to hormonal treatments can pose health risks for women.
Fox said that these factors have “people begging for Plan A.”
He said that interest in the treatment, which is in the process of getting approval from the Food and Drug Administration, has skyrocketed.
“We opened up a high urgency list where thousands of men responded and said why they should be the first to receive Plan A once it goes on the market,” Fox said.
He said he anticipates Plan A being available to men within two years.
When asked about cost, Fox declined to offer specific numbers. He said that NEXT Life Sciences would make sure the treatment was “accessible” and that “every single person who needs Plan A gets Plan A.”
“The need for safe and effective contraception permeates through every layer of society and every corner of the earth,” Fox said.