Home / Uncategorized / Turn it “off” before you get it “on”: A new form of birth control developed for males
Some germy places in the house include light switches. Touching the light switch is practically unavoidable, but keeping it clean is not. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Turn it “off” before you get it “on”: A new form of birth control developed for males

Written by Julie Jernigan, Staff Writer

When we think of birth control, we don’t necessarily associate it with men, and why is that? All our lives we are taught that it’s up to the woman to supply her own form of birth control whether it be from pills, patches, shots, or making sure she brings a condom, but what if there was a form of men’s birth control? German inventor Clemens Bimek had the same question about contraception, which lead to his creation of the “Bimek SLV.”

The “Bimek SLV” is a two-centimeter on/off switch device that is implanted during a 30-minute procedure in both spermatic ducts where the user can easily turn sperm flow on or off by hand due to the thin skin of the scrotum. There is also a safety screw, which prevents the switches from accidently turning on. The device works like a vasectomy would in that when the switch is flipped off, it prevents the sperm cells from leaving the testicles, and they are reabsorbed back into the body. Unlike a vasectomy though, it can be turned on at any time, where as a vasectomy cannot always be reversed.

This company is 100 percent vegan, and the only recipient of this new birth control is the inventor himself, who had it implanted in 2009. This device has yet to be approved by the FDA, and Clemens still has to go through clinical trials with 25 willing participants, and hopes to receive 5.5 million dollars through investment and crowd-funding the Daily Mail reports.

Many experts have concerns that this switch will have negative side effects on the body. Dr. Wolfgang Bühmann, a spokesman for Society of German Urologists, believes this device will cause scar tissue to develop in the seminal ducts which can cause infertility issues and clogging over time. Other experts are saying the material Clemens is using has already worked without complications in other technologies throughout parts of the body.

There are also concerns that it is not as effective as condoms, which can help guard against STD’s, so really this is more geared to long term relationships/married couples. The website also says you have to use another form of birth control after the device is implanted as the sperm takes months to exit the pathways, therefore this switch takes more planning than just turning it on and off.

This new invention can potentially change the way we think about birth control if thought out and tried correctly, but will it be effective? Only time can tell. It still has a long way to go, and the company hopes their product will be available for the public in three years, and the estimated cost for the procedure is around five thousand dollars.

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