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Step Aside Condoms — We’re Boiling Our Balls, Now

Ultrasound technology has been a potential method of male contraceptive for years, and soon, you might be able to use it at home with a sleek little cup for your balls

One of the reasons we don’t yet have a male birth control pill is because men are reportedly less willing to deal with the side effects than women. 

Maybe, though, they’d be willing to boil their balls in a tiny cup to temporarily avoid getting anyone pregnant.

At least, that’s part of the logic behind Coso, the male contraceptive device designed by German graduate student Rebecca Weiss, who was recently given a James Dyson Award for her prototype. 

So how does boiling your balls actually work in practice? Obviously, you’re not expected to dip your precious testes into a 212 degree Fahrenheit tub. Instead, the Coso, which looks like a version of an Alexa, uses ultrasound waves to heat up your balls from the inside. According to the Dyson Award site, the Coso is used by filling it with water up to an indicated mark. The device then heats up to the “operating temperature.” From here, “the user spreads his legs and sits down to place the testicles in the device. The ultrasound process continues for a few minutes.” 

The Coso is ready to boil your balls

Initial use would be coordinated with a doctor, who would help ensure proper placement and how much water is required for each person’s testicle size. But later uses would be tracked via an app. Two weeks after treatment, one would no longer produce viable sperm for up to six months, though treatments are intended to be repeated every two months for the best results. 

While the Coso is still a hypothetical prototype and requires extensive clinical trials and further development before becoming a reality, the science behind contraceptive ultrasound waves isn’t all that new. Since at least 2012, ultrasound technology has been considered as a way for men to prevent pregnancy on a longer-term basis than condoms but in a less-permanent way than vasectomies. And recently, researchers at Nantong University and Shanghai University in China studied a method similar to ultrasound waves using magnets. Namely, they injected magnetic nanoparticles into the testicles of mice and then externally heated them to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, preventing reproduction for up to two months. 

Exactly how injecting magnets or hot-tubbing your balls will play out remains to be seen, as none of this has yet to be studied on humans. But with Weiss’ design, we’re one step closer to having a chic little dish for your testicles that also pushes out your timeline for fatherhood. Again, it could be just the answer we’ve been looking for!