German inventor creates implantable switch that turns off male fertility

For the longest time, women have had the upper hand when it comes to contraception. That trend may be about to change thanks to a medical procedure that lets men turn their fertility off like a switch. Literally. 

Most of the available methods of birth control that are deemed suitably effective rely solely on a woman’s discretion and degree of responsibility. Other than condoms that could easily break, the only other option for men was the cringe-worthy and permanent v-word: vasectomy. 

German inventor Clemens Bimek claims that mankind can now breathe a huge collective sigh of relief and opt for a more desirable alternative: a “sperm switch” installed within the scrotum that allows the wearer to effectively switch off their fertility whenever they desire.

Through the system, which is called Bimek SLV, a man can decide whether he wants to have intercourse with the intent to reproduce. The valve, when properly mounted on each spermatic duct, works by “[disrupting] the flow of sperm cells when closed,” in effect rendering the user temporarily sterile. In the off position, the pathways are kept open and sperm is released freely, allowing for normal ejaculation. 

It is designed for lifetime use, without the need for additional medication or hormone intake on the part of the user or their female partners. And more importantly, unlike a vasectomy, it is non-permanent.

Using the Bimek SLV is not without its own medical hurdles, as guys will still need to have a 30 minute surgical procedure to get the valves installed. The switches are then inserted in the default off or “open” position, meaning sperm flow is 100% active. After the Bimek SLV is switched on for the first time, sperm will still be present for about three months (which, according to the Bimek website, is worth around 30 ejaculations), so before you go out testing your upgraded manhood, it is recommended that you seek a urologist for a sperm analysis.

As you might have guessed, the Bimek SLV is not yet available on the market. It is, however, in the process of acquiring investors as well as medical approval. The company hopes to have the Bimek SLV ready for the European market by 2018, when it aims to receive market approval.

H/T Daily Mail | Photo via Bimek

Jam Kotenko

Jam Kotenko

Jam Kotenko is a technology reporter and graphic designer who specializes in coverage of Instagram, Facebook, and other social media apps. Her work has been published by Digital Trends, Bustle, and Gotta Be Mobile.