‘Testicle bath’ birth control device earns Germany’s Dyson Prize

A German inventor’s unique ultrasound “testicle bath” birth control device for men took the top prize at the country’s James Dyson Awards.

Rebecca Weiss, an industrial design graduate from the University of Munich and inventor of the COSO male birth control device, was named Germany’s winner of the James Dyson Award, which “celebrates, encourages and inspires the designers of new problem-solving ideas.”

The COSO uses an ultrasound “testicle bath” to temporary stop sperm mobility. The device only needs to be used every few months to keep the sperm inert and prevent eggs from being fertilized during sex.

Weiss said the inspiration for the device came after she was diagnosed with precursor cervical cancer, which has been tied to oral contraceptive pills.

“When my partner and I were looking for an alternative method, we became aware of the lack of male contraceptives,” Weiss told Dyson Award officials.

“This problem is not unique to me personally. It affects many others as well as is made evident in the current growing public discussion about the lack of contraceptive alternatives.”

Weiss said the lack of male birth control options led her to develop “a new contraceptive approach for men in my master’s thesis.”

The inventor said she is hoping the Dyson Award will help her obtain funding to put the COSO through clinical trials.

As Germany’s winner of the Dyson Award, Weiss is now shortlisted for the international award, which carries a $45,000 prize.