Pregnancy is a joint responsibility for both parties, however, the effort of prevention often falls more heavily on women. Whilst financial support is still needed for clinical trials before Coso, a reversible and hormone-free device, can launch, progress towards a more gender-balanced approach to pregnancy is hopeful.

German design graduate Rebecca Weiss has won a James Dyson Award for a male contraceptive device called Coso, which uses ultrasound waves to temporarily halt sperm regeneration.

Coso is a reversible contraceptive solution, similar to an IUD for men in that its effects wear off after a specified time. Operating the small bowl-like device is fairly straightforward. First, it is filled with water and turned on, at which point it starts heating up until reaching operating temperature. The user would then sit for a few minutes with their testicles dipped into the device.

The ultrasound waves temporarily halt sperm regeneration, with contraceptive effectiveness beginning two weeks after the first application. There is also an accompanying app to monitor progress. The effect is reversible, with fertility expected to return no later than six months after the last application.

After being diagnosed with a cervical cancer precursor, Weiss could no longer use hormonal contraceptive methods and soon discovered that options for men were severely lacking. Taking the matter into her own hands, Weiss decided to develop a new method of male birth control as part of her master’s thesis in Industrial Design at the Technical University in Munich.  

Her design for Coso is based on research that found ultrasound contraception has been successful on animals, but has so far been untested on humans. She hopes her design promotes further testing.

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