A reader writes:
While I agree that RISUG is very promising, we shouldn't prematurely decide that it's the best solution to the problems with contraception. Here's a blog post from a public expert as to why. Money quote: "Yes, in one sense it exists. But on the other hand we don’t really know how well it works, and we don’t really know how safe it is."
Another focuses on gender politics:
The call for a female version of the Vasalgel injection highlights a serious problem in how culture factors in to adoption of birth control usage. No matter how many men I've linked to articles on the injection (perhaps foolishly expecting an enthusiastic reaction), all of them seem to have some kind of gripe that seems to be a big enough justification to not get it even after vigorous safety testing: "They have to make an incision?!" "I don't like the idea of putting stuff in my body!" "What if they're wrong and it's not reversible?"
In my opinion they're being a big bunch of babies, because if such a fallopian tube injection was available anywhere I would be flying abroad to secure my 10-year, no-hormones required investment immediately. But the more I think about it, the more I'm reminded that male culture ultimately says that the junk is untouchable, and that any modification or interference is somehow emasculating or "too risky" for the family jewels. Men don't consider how infinitely more invasive contraceptive options are for women, because taking on the risks of chemically or physically modifying one's body to avoid pregnancy is still the woman's job. Because of how much men's interests already control pharmaceutical research dollars and distribution, I'm convinced that if men really wanted it they could have it here inside of a year.
Additionally, the Gates Foundation has interest in developing a female injection because of their work in ensuring that women all over the world have safe effective choice in when they would like to be parents, even when their societies do not wish to permit them that choice within the context of a marriage. A female injection would provide a low cost, single visit, 100% effective and 100% discrete solution for women in the developing world, particularly for those who cannot openly use contraceptives with a controlling or abusive partner, or cannot ask their husbands to consent to the male version of the procedure. It's worth exploring, and I wouldn't mind benefiting from that research either.