A new method of male contraception is expected to become available within the next two years.
The contraception, which is as effective as a vasectomy, will be reversible and will have little or no side-effects.
Stellenbosch University urologist, Dr Amir Zarrabi said that if successful, the new male contraceptive will change the field of contraception.
It will give couples a lot of flexibility. They will have a safe and reliable form of contraception with no hormonal effects or other side-effects that can be reversed when they want to start a family, Zarrabi said.
The new contraceptive method, Vasalgel, which is currently being tested by the American Parsemus Foundation, is a type of no-scalpel vasectomy.
Vasalgel blocks the flow of sperm from the testicles to the penis like a vasectomy, but instead of severing the tube that carries sperm, a gel is injected into the tube, forming a barrier that blocks sperm, but allows other fluids to pass through.
Zarrabi, who specialises in male fertility and microsurgery at the Division of Urology atStellenbosch University, said that unlike having a vasectomy, Vasalgel did not require surgery and did not carry the risks that came with a vasectomy.
Although a vasectomy is a small procedure, it does carry some risks, like bleeding or infection and there is also a small chance that a man might experience post-vasectomy pain due to pressure build-up in the testicles.
Vasalgel can be used as a short or long-term form of contraception.