Scientists in Australia are developing a radio-controlled contraceptive implant that would control the flow of a man's sperm at the flick of a switch. The valve would be "push-fit" inside the vas deferens (duct that carries sperm from the testicles to the penis) and could be opened or closed remotely depending on the baby making needs of the user. This is making me a bit nauseous, but I will forge ahead...
In all seriousness, one of the major advantages of such a device would be that it would not require surgery to implant. The 800 micron-long device could simply be inserted using a hypodermic needle—which is great. Plus, the option to reverse the procedure at will is certainly intriguing. Derek Abbot, the leader of the team responsible for the device explains:
"It will be like turning a TV on and off with a remote control, 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."
But what if your doctor is an asshole? You know, the kind of guy that will mess with his patient's junk from afar? Or what if the controls were stolen? It would be worrisome to say the least. That, and the very real possibility that the valve will clog with protein over time and the user will become permanently infertile. Still, this does seem like a viable alternative if it ever becomes a reality. That having been said, researchers are planning on beginning lab trials and animal trials in the near future. [New Scientist]