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New in contraception: A 'switch' so men can turn off their sperm

Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and runs the popular health and fitness website of the same name, where she tries out a new workout every month, specializing...

New male birth control makes turning fertility on and off a real possibility

Pills, patches, rings, implants, uterine devices: The choices in birth control can be mind boggling, leading many an egg-filled lady to throw up her hands in despair. Everything comes with side effects, costs money and may not even work as promised. But before you go all Condoms 4 Lyfe, there is one avenue still mostly unexplored: male birth control. And one German man has come up with an ingenious solution.

Clemens Bimek is a carpenter and handyman by trade, which may be where he first got the idea to use a valve to temporarily block the flow of a man's sperm. It's taken him years of trial and error, but now he, with the help of some real medical doctors, have turned his sci-fi fantasy into reality.

That's right: Your dude could possibly turn off his baby batter with the flick of a switch — er, ball.

More: The 'pull out' method may be more effective than you think

The gadget works by implanting a valve on both vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles. The device, which weighs less than a 10th of an ounce and is about the size of a jelly bean, is inserted in a quick outpatient surgery. After that, the man can turn the valve on and off at will by pressing on the switch just under his testicular skin, making him temporarily infertile.

New male birth control makes turning fertility on and off a real possibility
Image: Spiegel Magazine

But don't break out the champagne just yet, as the device is still in the testing phase. Later this year it will be implanted in 25 men as part of the first human trial. Doctors are hopeful, however, that this simple solution could work, as they say about one third of men who get a vasectomy later regret it and wish to get it reversed.

More: What to know about taking birth control for extended periods of time

Women don't have to mess with our hormones and men have more control over their fertility? Sounds like a good deal to us!

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