Male contraceptive “bath” device invented in Germany, wins Dyson Prize

A graduate in industrial design, Rebecca Weiss created a revolutionary device – a testicular ultrasound “bath” that could function as a method of male contraception.
The invention could be the long-awaited answer to long-term, safe, male-based family planning. Current options for men are condoms – which are also beneficial in preventing sexually transmitted diseases but are uncomfortable for most partners as an ongoing prevention of pregnancy – and vasectomies, arguably the safest method of contraception. , but irreversible.

Weiss first studied the concept of male contraception after receiving disturbing results from a pelvic exam that revealed precursor cancer cells on her cervix, the young inventor said, according to the Dyson Awards website. . Because oral contraceptives contain the female hormones of estrogen and progesterone, they are not recommended against the background of suspicious cancer cells and Weiss researched alternatives.

Coso, his cup-sized bath-like invention, is a sleek little bowl that uses ultrasonic waves to temporarily disrupt sperm regeneration, leaving the user free to engage in controlled sex two weeks after using the device.

The user would fill the cup with water and place their testicles inside the hot liquid, while the ultrasonic waves target the sperm. The mechanism has been successful in animal testing, but has not yet been applied to humans.

Different types of birth control pills. (credit: Ceridwen / Wikimedia Commons)

The effect wears off for up to six months later, which means it doesn’t have to be an irreversible solution like “tie the tubes”.

The young designer studied male fertility as part of her thesis at the Technical University of Munich. She hopes her innovation will receive the financial and academic support needed to reach clinical trials and medical practice.

“Coso… offers a user-friendly and easy-to-use contraceptive approach without any physical intervention, pain or previously known side effects,” Weiss said. “New technologies only work if they are accepted by users and society.

Male contraceptives have already been rejected for several reasons. One pill was dropped after it reportedly caused headaches – despite the fact that hormone-filled female birth control pills can cause similar headaches as well as depression, mood swings, swelling of the breasts. breasts, blood clotting problems and even stroke.

Another reason why contraception is still in the female arena is due to the simple fact that many still perceive pregnancy as “the girl’s problem”.

But longtime couples often want to share the responsibility. “The problem is not unique to me personally,” Weiss said. “It also affects many others. It is also evident in the current public debate about the lack of contraceptive alternatives.”

The innovation has won the international James Dyson award which celebrates design and engineering. Whether the ingenious and attractive gadget can also become a breakthrough in contraception is an unanswered question.

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