Men searching for birth control are often frustrated with condoms and vasectomies. German inventor Clemens Bimek wants to bring male contraception out of the dark ages with a new device that he says acts like a light switch that blocks sperm from mixing with semen before the "big moment."
This device is called the Bimek SLV.
"Many of the doctors I consulted didn't take me seriously," Bimek told the New York Daily News. "But there were some who encouraged me to go on tinkering and helped me with their expertise."
The Bimek SLV is made out of biomaterial similar to dental implants. There are two valves, one on each of the sperm ducts. Pushing the switch down closes the valves and blocks sperm from entering. Pushing the switch up releases the valves and allows the sperm to enter.
There's more freedom with a Bimek SLV than a vasectomy, which can be permanent sometimes.
"A third of patients want to have the operation reversed later, but it doesn't always work," Bimek told the New York Daily News.
And the Bimek SLV could be easier than using a condom.
The Bimek SLV might be available by 2018.
The surgical procedure for the Bimek SLV would be similar to a vasectomy. Bimek describes the operation as a half-hour procedure with local anesthesia. The calculated cost of the operation and the actual device would be over $5,400.
However, there have been safety concerns about the device.
Critics argue that scar tissue could build up, and even Bimek agrees with that theory.
"My assessment is that implanting the valve could cause scarring where it meets the vas deferens," Bimek told the New York Daily News.
Meanwhile, the device doesn't block all sperm at first. Bimek estimates that it might take about 30 ejaculations before it fully works. An urologist would be needed to monitor the patient during this process.
The Bimek SLV is not FDA approved yet, and Bimek is the only man who used the device. He says that it works perfectly, but he is going to run clinical testing on 25 men this year. He hopes to fund the testing with a $5.5 million investment from crowdfunding.
Men will have to wait and see if the Bimek SLV is next the revolution for safe sex. Keep in mind that even if the device can safely and successfully work as birth control, it won't block sexually transmitted diseases. For protection against STDs, condoms are still the best option.