A German carpenter is developing a new contraception system for men which works as a vasectomy but can be reversed at the push of a button.
Clemens Bimek is the inventor of the system called Bimek SLV which is able to control the sperm flow through a flipping switch.
The system is made out of a device that needs to be implanted through surgery and attached to the spermatic ducts. The device is equipped with a valve which is closed and opened as needed through the thin skin on the scrotum.
If the valve is off sperm cells are diverted sideward, being prevented from reaching the seminal fluid. This allows ejaculation but it is like shooting blind bullets, as the seminal fluid without the sperm cells cannot cause pregnancy.
The procedure basically works as a vasectomy. But in comparison with a vasectomy which is only reversible through surgery Bimek SLV makes it reversible with a flip of the switch. Also, unlike other means of contraception the device is hormone free, it can be worn for the entire life and it is 100% vegan, according to its website.
Bimek told Spiegel that his idea for the device came 20 years ago while he was watching a documentary on the topic of contraception. A few years after, in 2000, he already filed a patent.
The man says he consulted many doctors regarding the potential of his device but only few of them took him seriously, supporting the concept with biological and anatomical knowledge and encouraging the inventor to continue.
One of the doctors who are sceptical regarding Bimek SLV is the German Urologists Professional Association’s spokesman, Wolfgang Buhman. According to the urologist the implanting procedure can cause scarring which would prevent the sperm flow even when the device is on. Another concern of the doctor is that the valve could get clogged if it is kept closed for too long, which would require a surgical intervention for unclogging.
However, until the clinical trial for humans starts nobody can now for sure if that would really happen. Until now the only men who tested the device is Bimek himself. The inventor has had the implant procedure which lasted only 30 minutes.
However, the first implant did not go well as the men found it too difficult to flip the switch on and off. As a result the man redesigned the device and had follow-up surgeries.
In this moment Bimek is satisfied with his device so he plans to implant it to 25 men during a clinical trial this year and if everything goes well the device will hopefully get on the market by 2018.
Image source: video screen capture/Bimek.com