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Biotech Build Science Technology

German Carpenter's Testicluar Valve Could Mean An On/Off Switch For Sperm 287

Press2ToContinue writes: A German carpenter has invented a valve which he claims will revolutionize contraception, by allowing a man to turn the flow of sperm from his testicles on and off at the flick of a switch. It (the switch, of course) is nearly an inch long and weighs less than a tenth of an ounce. It is surgically implanted on the vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, in a half-hour operation, and controlled by a switch beneath the skin of the scrotum.

So far Bimek is the only man who has the switches implanted, one for each testicle. I wonder what other switches we will see implanted into humans in the future?
I think I'd like a valve for adrenaline control.
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German Carpenter's Testicluar Valve Could Mean An On/Off Switch For Sperm

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:09PM (#51257239)

    >> A German carpenter has invented a valve that gets implanted in the most delicate part of your body via a surgical operation

    Seems about right to me.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Once the Human Brain-Machine Interface [wikipedia.org] tech matures, we will be able to have just-like-the-real-thing sex with virtual women and zero risk of pregnancy, as much as we want without having to pay the women (or buy dinner for them) since they aren't real.

      Of course...a surgery that distributes neuron-interfacing machines throughout the gray matter of the brain is even more invasive than this one....but the potential benefits go way beyond the crazy sex.

      • by VernonNemitz ( 581327 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @05:38PM (#51258329) Journal
        I first heard of something like this idea long before the Internet became popular. That old story also mentioned a problem, that when the vas is closed, it bursts. This is why when doctors do a vasectomy, they only tie ONE end of each cut tube (the end that leads toward the prostate, not the end connected to the testicle). This invention actually needs a Y-shaped valve, such that when it is closed, only the flow toward the prostate stops, while sperm can continue to flow out into the body cavity, as if one end of the vas had been cut but not tied.
        • by dmr001 ( 103373 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @11:36PM (#51259975)

          Most vasectomy techniques [aafp.org] involve tying (ligating) or fulgurating (burning) both ends. The vas doesn't seem to burst, but there is a complication called "sperm granuloma" where leaking sperm (often happens) can cause inflammation (also often happens) which can cause pain (doesn't happen that often) and in rare circumstances recanalization of the vas.

          Granted, it's been a while since I performed a vasectomy but I was trained to ligate and cauterize/fulgurate both ends. Surgical implantation of this switch sounds tricky: the vas is a slippery little thing, the canal narrow, and the human body doesn't always take kindly to the implantation of foreign material.

          FWIW, most of the volume of ejaculate isn't sperm, but prostatic fluid. Vasectomized guys are shooting blanks, but it's not easy to distinguish between the blanks and live ammo without a microscope. Check out the grin on this urologist [nytimes.com] as he explains the same.

    • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @04:14PM (#51257731)
      You'd prefer a Jewish carpenter? (I believe that's called the "rhythm method" of birth control.)
    • Just skip it. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      From a male's perspective....

      1) Sex is expensive. Either you are paying a prostitute, which is expensive, or you are dating a woman, which is expensive, or you are married, which is the most expensive (especially when the divorce bill comes around and basically wipes you out).

      2) Sex is time-consuming. Include the time invested in managing one's appearance, finances, etc., in order to acquire a partner, and then further time cost of maintaining that partner. This is slightly less of a problem for prostitu

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrex ( 25183 )

        Plenty of research demonstrates that friendship cures loneliness whereas romance does not

        I call BS. I don't sleep (and I mean actual sleep, not sex) with my friends, and that's one of the best parts about a relationship. Sounds like some researchers spiked their studies with narrow word definitions.

        • Re:Just skip it. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @06:26PM (#51258641)

          Yeah, exactly. That sounds like it was written by someone with a personality disorder that makes them not really crave human contact (I mean besides sex, though including it as well). There's probably a DSM-IV name for it. The simple fact is: normal people want to be touched. Babies that aren't touched enough either die or develop major personality disorders when they grow up.

      • Re:Just skip it. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 07, 2016 @05:13PM (#51258181)

        Sex is not necessary. To overcome the desire, just masturbate.

        If you think masturbating in any obviates the desire for sex, you've clearly had some pretty shitty sex in your time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        From a female's perspective....

        1) Sex is biologically expensive. Either you are taking hormonal supplements to disrupt your biological processes to prevent contraception, which is a health risk, or you are risking 10 months of your life flushed down the john for 10 minutes (if you're lucky) of pleasure. And after the 10 months you get to raise some rugrat for the next 16 to 18 years, 'cause heaven forbid the mother handing the brat over to the baby-daddy, signing a support agreement and just walking away saying 'watch for the check in the mail, hon!'. That's not a woman's place in the world, son.

        Or...you can try to convince the asshole you're with that "bareback ain't where it's at", and watch him have a tantrum like a two-year-old (ooh, is that foreshadowing?)

        2) Sex is time-consuming...well, it is if your partner knows what the hell he's doing. If not...well, at least it's quick.

        3) Sex is dangerous. It spreads disease. It makes you vulnerable to rape, which is life-destroying. It risks pregnancy which (if unwanted) can be life-destroying.

        4) Sex never satisfies...well, see point 2.

        5) Sex is gross (your opinion may vary, but the more you learn about biology the more disgusting it becomes).

        6) Sex is not necessary. To overcome the desire, just masturbate. To overcome loneliness, hang out with friends. Plenty of research demonstrates that friendship cures loneliness whereas romance does not (and in fact can make it worse). Google it.

        There, FTFY.

        The stigma associated with being single is gone.

        I really don't know where you get that idea from. I don't recall much of a stigma for single guys, but the 'spinster' image for women is all too alive, I'm afraid.

        Consider this: A single guy in his 40's who's never married is a bachelor, a playboy, a swinger, etc. while a woman in her 40's who's never married is...a spinster. What else? Cat lady? Cougar? MILF? None of these terms have very positive overtones, and some are downright insulting.

        • Re:Just skip it. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @06:44PM (#51258757)

          Consider this: A single guy in his 40's who's never married is a bachelor, a playboy, a swinger, etc. while a woman in her 40's who's never married is...a spinster. What else? Cat lady? Cougar? MILF? None of these terms have very positive overtones, and some are downright insulting.

          I see some really selective stereotyping here. What about the "40-year-old virgin" guy? They made a movie about that 5 or 10 years ago. That guy definitely isn't considered a "playboy".

          And how is a MILF considered "insulting"? That sounds like a compliment to me; usually older women are (were) seen as past their prime, not really someone a younger guy would want sex with. A MILF or cougar is. It's a compliment to women who aged well.

          As for spinsters, I think part of the problem there might be the social circles that women are in. Who's actually calling you (or any women you know like this) a "spinster" or similar? This sounds like a problem largely of these women's own making, by voluntarily being in social circles that have these attitudes. The guy who's a 40yo virgin and hangs out with his nerdy friends doesn't have this problem because all his buddies are in the same boat; they might get shit from their parents but that's about it, and usually 40yos don't live with their parents any more. Remember also, women tend to be much more social than men, and are conditioned that way from early childhood. So older single men seem to frequently end up just living alone and being alone much of the time; they're not around anyone who's going to make up derogatory names for them and their singleness.

          Also, you're absolutely wrong about a single 40yo guy being called a "swinger". A "swinger" is a married person who, together with their spouse, engages in extramarital sex. You've never heard of "swingers parties"?

          But basically, you seem to be looking at George Clooney and assuming he's representative of all 40+ single men, which honestly is rather insulting because most men aren't blessed with his looks or charisma. Most 40+ men who are single are that way either because they're like the 40yo virgin guy (but not remotely as attractive as Steve Carrell; that's Hollywood for you), nerdy and/or unattractive and uninteresting to women, not because they've actively avoided marriage.

  • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:14PM (#51257271) Journal

    For women, it's more complicated. [intradayfun.com]

    • I'm sure this has a high likelihood of utterly failing, being forgotten, or otherwise having a less than perfect track record.

      You might as well to pull it out and hope that works.

      People will forget, or during various ... er ... activities this will get switched on/off by accident.

      • Oddly enough the inventor thought of that obvious problem. It uses a safety switch, which requires that a safety button on the back be squeezed in before the switch can be flipped. Honestly the maneuver looks like it would be rather uncomfortable, especially if any significant force is required.

        Now that's probably still not 100% failure-proof, but unless the design is seriously flawed it's going to be *very* unlikely that the valve ever gets opened by accident, and you'd probably notice if there were any

      • With two switches things can get confusing. You may switch one on but depending on the state of the other . . . argh! At least with light there is a visual indicator.

    • From what I have heard, women have a way to "shut that whole thing down [slate.com]" anyway...

  • Good idea? (Score:5, Funny)

    by NMBob ( 772954 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:17PM (#51257297) Homepage
    Control it from your iPhone and it posts the setting of the switch to your Facebook page. :)
    • by Robert Duncan ( 3655845 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:19PM (#51257321)
      iBalls
    • by Spaham ( 634471 )

      Actually, you could imagine a whole set of particle "generators". Like dash emitting sperm, or rain, or snow, or maybe the time of day etc...

    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
      This was not how I envisioned the Internet of "Things".
    • Control it from your iPhone and it posts the setting of the switch to your Facebook page. :)

      Finally, a realistic explanation of the "poke" option on Facebook...

  • Deja Vu (Score:5, Funny)

    by I_Wrote_This ( 858682 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:20PM (#51257325)
    I remember a report about this (or, more likely, something similar) many years (20+) ago. The Brits on the team called it the Stop Cock.
  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:20PM (#51257331)
    The switch is countersunk and flush to the surface. Sanded smooth and polished with 000 steal wool. How else would a carpenter make one?
  • by Major Blud ( 789630 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:21PM (#51257337) Homepage

    Can you get these installed in your kids? It would bring new meaning to Parental Controls.

  • Yeah, No! (Score:5, Informative)

    by tiberus ( 258517 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:21PM (#51257339)
    Recall my doctor telling me there would be residual viable sperm around for sometime after I was snipped. Pretty sure you can't just go flippedy flip on the switchety switch and not make a baby with your baby.
    • Yeah, they only say the operation worked if you have a negative test 3 months after.

    • by JigJag ( 2046772 )

      You should read the content of the article. It says that to turn off, it takes a few weeks/months precisely because of residual, but once off, it's off no questions asked.
      When you turn it back on, it's on immediately.

  • by flanksteak ( 69032 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:22PM (#51257347) Homepage
    I got a vasectomy a few years ago and I was told that there were about 20 'loads' in storage past the vas deferens. So this is not something you can switch on Friday afternoon and expect to be sterile over the weekend.
  • Got wood? (Score:3, Funny)

    by oldmac31310 ( 1845668 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:23PM (#51257357) Homepage
    Just 'came' here to say this
  • A permanent case of blue balls.
  • # Hitler has only got one ball
      Goering has two but very small
      Himmler has something similar
      And poor old Goebbels has no balls at all /#

    • Hitler has only got one ball

      You know, I used to think that was just a goofy song made up by schoolkids during WWII, but I recently learned that the US intelligence apparatus actually came up with that rumor. It was in a pretty scholarly book about US propaganda efforts during the war.

      We'd later see the same thing at work in regard to Gaddafi being a cross-dresser and Castro's beard falling out. I would love to have been a fly on the wall at that meeting. "General, maybe if we could just start a rumor abo

  • by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:30PM (#51257407)

    It's called marriage.

  • by Rogue974 ( 657982 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @03:40PM (#51257473)

    I work at a chemical manufacturing site. Do you have any idea how many millions of pounds of material are lost each year do to a manual valve that was not fully shut.

    I am sorry babby, I guess when I got hit in the groin last week playing basketball, it must have opened the valve!

    Or,

    I closed it, I guess it didn't close all of the way!

    Yeah, not so sure this is a good idea!

  • Sperm linger in the canal past the point of the valve. It would probably require a couple weeks to allow the sperm to clear after turning the valve off to ensure this was 100% effective. Of course, the sperm count would be greatly reduced just by turning the valve off, but not to zero.
  • The last carpenter who tried this became quite famous...

    • That would be Joseph to you.... And I'm pretty sure it was Mary who was making the claim not Joseph. Last time I when though the story it was Joseph who was dubious about this and was going to refuse to go through with the marriage to the pregnant girl. At least that's how the recorded story goes. According to tradition, Jesus wasn't involved in fathering any children.
  • "I think I'd like a valve for adrenaline control." (a) no you wouldn't, it would be like cutting off half the internal regulation system which allows your body to work efficiently in sync with current and anticipated demands - literally, mission-critical regulation - and (b) the *experience* of adrenaline / arousal is generated by a separate system which distributes adrenaline around the brain - the adrenaline in your bloodstream comes from the adrenal gland and activates the tissues of the body, but the ad
  • In days of old, when knights were bold,

  • by CCarrot ( 1562079 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @05:07PM (#51258151)

    Wow, that just brings a whole new meaning to that sudden panicked thought "wait...did I leave the faucet running?!?"

  • The main thing I learned in my endocrinology classes in dental school was this: hormones are nothing to screw around with. They affect so many different things and messing with them causes so many unintended consequences, it is best not to play around with them unless there is a medical reason to do so.

  • Editors don't have a testiclue.

  • by DavidHumus ( 725117 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @06:02PM (#51258479)
    You should always choose a carpenter for working with wood.
  • by seoras ( 147590 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @07:14PM (#51258935)

    I had 2 kids with my ex wife who then nagged me into getting a vasectomy.
    It's very easy, easier than going to the dentist for a filling in fact.

    However I then started getting pain in my nuts.
    You see they tie off your vas and the sperm has no where to go - think of the car chase scene in the Blue's Brothers with all the cop cars piling up on top of each other. That's your epididymis swelling up with all the sperm piling up.
    This German inventor's idea doesn't solve this problem however it does allow you to switch back on if you do get congestive epididymitis.

    After I split with her I had it reversed.
    2 hours on the table and a couple of big black grape fruits the next morning.
    3 months for the bruising to fade.
    I timed it to be when I was writing my thesis for my masters. Plenty of quiet, sitting down working time.

    I've now got 5 kids and no.6 due in March. Pisses my ex off no end.
    I still, occasionally, get congestive epididymitis.

    Interesting fact. Vasectomy is illegal in France. Smart country.
    The only positive was it raised my Testosterone level to somewhere near where it was when I was 16.
    Going back to University for a year, single, sterile and horny as a teenager made for a very memorable time in my life. ;)

    As a war veteran of vasectomy my advice is this.
    Leave your nuts alone to do what they are supposed to do!

  • The other day I went for a motorcycle ride.. I'm not sure if it is the case for all motorcycles, but on this motorcycle there is a switch that turns on a final 'reserve' tank so that you know you need to go pronto to get gas. Well I went for a motorcycle ride and I ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere. With great vigor I went to switch to my reserve tank only to find that it already WAS on the reserve tank.

    And that, my friends, is why I would never want to have this procedure.

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