Radio Controlled Birth Control for men?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by igor, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. igor

    Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Chicago area
    A radio-controlled contraceptive implant that could control the flow
    of sperm from a man's testicles is being developed by scientists in

    The device is placed inside the vas deferens ? the duct which
    carries sperm from each testicle to the penis. When closed, it
    blocks the flow of sperm cells, allowing them to pass again when it
    is opened via a remote control. The valve could be a switchable
    alternative to vasectomy, the researchers say.

    Although women can choose from several long-term contraceptive
    methods, for men vasectomy is really the only option. With this
    procedure, the vasa deferentia are cut or blocked, a process that
    requires surgery and can require a week of recovery. The procedure
    cannot be reliably reversed, leaving some men to later regret their

    Now, a team from the University of Adelaide, Australia, may have
    come up with a more easily reversed alternative. They have designed
    a small radio-controlled valve that would "push-fit" snugly inside
    the vas deferens and block the passage of sperm.

    The silicone-polymer valve can be flipped between open and closed
    positions with a pulse of radio waves. A set of conducting "fingers"
    on the valve act as antennae and convert the signal's energy into
    sound waves that travel through the polymer and create stresses
    inside the device.

    Remote control
    "Since it is flexible, the polymer either contracts or expands as a
    result, and this movement allows the valve to be opened or closed as
    needed," explains team leader Said Al-Sarawi.

    "It will be like turning a TV on and off with a remote control,"
    added team founder Derek Abbott, "except that the remote will
    probably be locked away in your local doctor's office to safeguard
    against accidental pregnancy or potential misuse of the device."

    To secure the device against accidental activation, the device works
    in a similar way to a car's remote key-fob. Each valve responds only
    to a radio-frequency signal with a unique code.

    Another advantage of the microvalve is that would not require open
    surgery, unlike a vasectomy. The 800 micron-long device could simply
    be inserted using a hypodermic needle. "The procedure could be
    performed in a special clinic rather than in a hospital," says Abbott.

    The researchers have finished the design of all parts of the valve,
    and are convinced it will work effectively. The next step is to test
    it in the lab with a tube of pressurized water. After that, trials
    could begin in live sheep and pigs, they say.

    'Grace period'
    One potential problem, however, is that after a while the valve may
    clog with protein and remain shut, rendering the man permanently

    "We would only propose the device to men who were thinking of having
    a full vasectomy anyway," said Abbott. "But, unlike in an actual
    vasectomy, he would have a 'grace period' where the procedure can
    easily be reversed." How such a device affects gender politics would
    also make a fascinating social study, he added.

    Men who regret a vasectomy can often only have children using donor
    sperm, says Natalie Gamble, associate with UK law firm Lester Aldridge.

    "Although the law protects families conceiving with the help of a
    sperm donor, this type of conception has significant legal and
    emotional implications," she adds. " I am sure men will welcome the
    chance to control their fertility more flexibly, and to preserve the
    chance to have their own genetic child."

    Joe Hofmeister is president of US firm Shepherd Medical Company,
    which is also working on male contraceptive devices. "Consumer
    market research performed by an independent third party for Shepherd
    confirms a strong patient desire for a permanent-yet-reversible male
    contraceptive such as the microvalve or other such system."
  2. johnnyangel694u

    Gold Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Likes Received:
    With my luck it would be on the same frequency as the TV remote.