Birth control can be inconvenient at times. Do you have condom? Is your partner really on birth control? Spermicides and the sponge? Do people still use those?
What if guys could turn on birth control with a flip of a switch?
How cool would that be?!
German inventor, Clemens Bimek, is working on this exact invention! With his Bimek SLV device, men would be able to prevent sperm from entering their ejaculatory system, with a simple switch. In fact, he’s so committed to his invention that he’s already experimented on himself – implanting the valve-like device in his own body!
Bimek has been working on the design for nearly two decades. He notes,
“The idea came while I was watching a health advice program on television. “It showed a segment about vasectomies, something I had never heard before. The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘Why not just insert a valve instead of simply cutting it?’”
Great idea! But, Bimek was neither a doctor nor a surgeon — he worked in construction. However, despite this non-traditional career correlation, Bimek decided to go to the Berlin-Kreuzberg patent office, to see any similar device designed had been filed. He found there had been a few designs, but the designs were overly complicated, so he began development of his first prototype.
He spent the next several years studying andrology and urology. He interviewed specialists and scientists. Despite often being met with skepticism from these experts, he continued his research. After watching videos on vasectomies and reverse vasectomies, he finally came up with a design that involved transecting the vas deferens.
Just like in a vasectomy, when the vas deferens is cut, it can no longer deliver sperm to the seminal vessel that produces ejaculation fluid. In Bimek’s device, these cut ends are fitted onto the valve. Switching the device on closes the valve and prevents the sperm from mixing with the ejaculatory fluid. Switching the device off opens the valve and lets the sperm pass to the seminal vessel and get mixed with the ejaculatory fluid.
Being a vegetarian, Bimek did not want to conduct animal testing with his device. Instead, he tested on his own body. Bimek stated,
“[At] first I wasn’t too keen on it—test it on myself? Really? But, on the other hand, did I have any other option? No. How could I find out if it works? How should I know about the operation, possible pain, possible complications? How could I tell anyone anything about living with the SLV every day, how life changes or not? How would I know what still had to be changed? I didn’t want to do any animal testing. So there was no other option other than testing it on myself. Isn’t that something most inventors do?”
So far, testing on Bimek has gone well. Now, he’s looking for other test subjects. He says the best test subjects would be older males who already have children and are considering a vasectomy.
In the end, the Bimek SLV won’t be a cheap option. Because of manufacturing costs, it looks like it’s going to cost more than the average vasectomy (which in the US is often more than $1,000). However, Bimek and his investors believe the ability to choose when the device is on will have men more than willing to pay the difference.
So, what do you think? Would you be interested in a device that would allow you to switch on and off your sperm at will? I look forward to reading the comments! 😀