Creating Equality When We Talk About Contraception

Men may finally be able to take control of their reproductive futures.

When it comes to birth control, women are spoiled for choice. There are pills we can take and patches we can put on, IUDs and diaphragm we can insert, and the options just keep on growing. But for men, the only reliable form of contraception is to either put on a condom or have a vasectomy.

“It’s absolutely vital that men have more contraceptive choices — to take more control over their reproductive futures, and because the responsibility has fallen disproportionately on women’s shoulders (and nether-regions) for too long,” feminist blogger, Jessica Valenti, wrote in an article for The Guardian.

Scientists may have the answer in the form of a birth control “switch.”

The Bimek SLV device is surgically implanted in the spermatic ducts. The switch can be felt through the skin where the man can allow the flow of sperm from his testicles to his penis or it can divert the flow, preventing the sperm cells from leaving the testicles. This would allow men to turn their fertility on and off.

However, this birth control solution has only been tested by Clemens Bimek, the device's inventor. This has led some to question the Bimek SLV's effectiveness and safety. Dr. Wolfgang Bühmann, a spokesman for the Society of German Urologists, said to The Daily Mail, “I believe that the implantation of this valve could lead to scar tissue building up in the seminal ducts.” This could lead to infertility issues.

Clinical trials are set to begin this year, at which time researchers will find out if this form of contraception has possibility. Developers are hoping to make the Bimek SLV market-ready by 2018.


Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

Photo Credit: LUIS ACOSTA / Getty Staff

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

Physicists puzzled by strange numbers that could explain reality

Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.

Surprising Science
  • Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
  • The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
  • Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less