Many men are not overly confident or secure in getting a vasectomy as they just don’t feel it is incredibly safe. Well, there is another option now, and it’s one that could be the option a lot of males end up going for in the future. A German carpenter has invented the “Sperm Switch” which is something that could very well bring a whole new life to contraception by allowing men to switch their supply of sperm on and off as they please.
According to the Telegraph, Clemens Bimek said the idea first came to him close to two decades ago. He was watching a television documentary about contraception and started thinking about the possibility of stopping the flow of sperm with a valve or switch.
That was when he started thinking of different ways to come up with such a valve and see if it would be useful for men around the world. Oddly enough, he found out that there had never been a patent filed for anything like that whatsoever, so Bimek went to work.
— As It Happens (@cbcasithappens) January 8, 2016
As of now, the Sperm Switch has only been implanted into Bimek himself, but it is going to be implanted in 25 men in 2016 for trials. Bimek’s operation was done under local anesthetic in order to be awake enough to instruct and assist the doctor.
Bimek has had one switch implanted for each testicle.
Some are skeptical about this new invention and don’t think it will work. The inventor has explained the exact details of his new contraceptive device, of sorts.
The New Zealand Herald states that the valve is only about 2.5 cm long and weigh less than 2.8g total, which is less than an ounce.
Upon going into surgery, the patient will have the sperm switches implanted on the vas deferens which are the ducts that carry sperm to the testicles. The operation will take just about a half-hour in total time.
After all is said and done on the operation side of things, it gets even simpler from that point on. The valves are then controlled by the man himself via an on-and-off switch which is located under the skin of his scrotum.
As revealed by Bimek SLV, once the valve is implanted into the human body, it can and will prevent the sperm cells from leaving the testicles. It’s not a matter of hoping they are blocked, as the ability for them to travel is completely shut off.
Bimek knows that vasectomies can make many men nervous and have them going back and forth over the idea of getting one. Many are worried that later in life, they will regret their decision to get one in the first place.
Hartwig Bauer is the urologist who performed the surgery to put the Sperm Switch into Bimek, and he agreed with that point.
“A third of patients want to have the operation reversed later, but it doesn’t always work.”
Many men do have second thoughts about a vasectomy and end up wanting children down the line, but then have to deal with a number of decisions from that point on.
Now, while the new technology seems incredibly easy to implant into a person and also easy to use, some doctors have raised concerns. Wolfgang Buhmaan is the spokesman for the Professional Association of German Urologists, and he is worried about scarring that can come from the surgery.
“My assessment is that implanting the valve could cause scarring where it meets the vas deferens.”
If scarring does occur there, then it could end up preventing sperm to flow and be supplied when the switch has been set to open. Other medical professionals are also worried about the valves ending up clogged if they’re left closed for extended periods of time.
Should the valve become clogged or scarring occur in the area of the vas deferens, then it could cause serious medical problems for the man in the future. In turn, those issues would be something that could cost more money, require further surgeries, and end up causing damage.
Clemens Bimek knew that his Sperm Switch invention was going to be met with opposition, but that’s also why he implanted it in himself first. It’s also the reason there is going to be limited testing before it is made available to all. A vasectomy and the finality of it may scare some people, but there may be another version of contraception in the near future.
[Image via Shutterstock]