Men who aren't interested in having children could soon be shooting blanks, no vasectomy required.
German inventor Clemens Bimek recently introduced Bimek SLV, a small contraceptive device that stops the flow of sperm through the vas deferens with the literal flip of a mechanical switch, rendering its user temporarily sterile. Toggled through the skin of the scrotum, the device stays closed for three months to prevent accidental switching in the event that things get especially hot and heavy:
Bimek himself has been testing prototype versions of the device since June 2009, when he had two valves implanted. Over the past six years, he has continuously improved and refined his product. When disengaged, the current generation of the switch has had no notable impact on Bimek's sperm count.
The device, which is approximately the size of a gummy bear, is made of PEEK OPTIMA, a medical-grade polymer that has long been employed in implants. In press materials, Bimek explains that his device is "virtually wear-free" and, barring any complications, should last a lifetime.
Similar to a vasectomy procedure, the implantation surgery lasts only 30 minutes and requires little recovery time.
Before the patented technology can be brought to market, it must undergo a rigorous series of clinical trials. Bimek and his business partners are currently looking for men interested in testing the device.