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This little 'vasectomy switch' could change contraception forever

Dear men of the world: what if you could flip a switch and make it impossible to get your sexual partner pregnant, then flip it back when you’re ready to have children, and remain as fertile as ever?

Clemens Bimek, a German carpenter-turned-inventor, believes that he’s created a device that can do just that, according to Vast Company. The Bimek SLV is a small surgical implant with a switch that gives a man the power to give himself a vasectomy on demand. Obviously, this could have wide-reaching implications for sexual health and contraception. Why should women have to take birth control every day when a guy can just flip his babymaker to the OFF position?

The SLV consists of a pair of tiny valves surgically attached to the Vas Deferens, the tubes that sperm travels through to reach the urethra, where it mixes with a man’s semen. While a vasectomy permanently severs the tube, the SLV simply closes it off. Attached to the valve are a pair of sub-dermal rocker switches — the main switch and a “safety catch” — which allow the man to close and reopen the valve.

Bimek, who came up with the idea while watching a documentary on contraception, patented and built the first version in 2006. After years in development, however, the project in now in limbo. According to Der Spiegel, Bimel cannot conduct clinical trials and testing to prove the device is safe without the help of investors. Though it’s far from scientific, he claims to have one installed on himself in the meantime and said that, if nothing else, it does not cause pain or erectile dysfunction.

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The device isn’t exactly perfect. While the switch can open or shut off male fertility whenever you want, it still takes time for a man to expel all of the pre-mixed sperm in their system. According to the Bimek site’s FAQ, it may take three months or 30 ejaculations before the contraceptive takes effect. It also isn’t cheap: Bimek predicts that the SLV would cost about $3,300, should it ever receive funding and prove to be safe for use.