New Gizmos Wage War on Sperm Flow

Devices zap testes, block sperm—one by remote control
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2008 4:18 PM CDT
The development of a male pill has been thwarted by the potential side effects, including enlarged breast tissue, hair loss and a possible increased risk of prostate cancer.   (Index Stock)
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(Newser) – Condoms may be reliable, but they’re so last century, prompting scientists to develop a new arsenal of high-tech male contraceptives, the London Times reports. One device, the tiny “fertility control micro-valve,” is injected into a duct to let men control sperm flow using a remote-controlled key fob, while another uses ultrasound waves to heat the testes and thwart sperm production.

“A decade ago demand wasn't there and it was assumed women wouldn't trust men to take charge of birth control anyway,” explained one expert. “That has changed.” Researchers say clients are clamoring for new options, but paltry investment has impeded progress. “Male contraception is the forgotten stepchild of research,” the expert added. “Pharma companies, governments and foundations haven't invested enough.”