NCBI ROFL: Finally, a male contraceptive: behold the ball cozy!

By ncbi rofl | June 4, 2010 7:00 pm

ball_cozy_dudeContraceptive efficacy of polyester-induced azoospermia in normal men.

“Every 2 weeks, a physician at the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University in Egypt examined 14 32-47 year old male volunteers wearing a polyester scrotal sling day and night for 12 months to determine if polyester fabrics can act as a contraceptive in men. They changed the sling only when it became dirty. None of the men dropped out of the study. The sling did not cause any complications or reactions. Their partners took an oral contraceptive until 3 sperm samples proved the men to be azoospermic. The men became azoospermic from 120-160 days (mean 139.6 days) after 1st putting on the sling. They remained azoospermic throughout the study. None of the partners became pregnant during the study. All 5 couples who wanted a pregnancy after the study period did indeed conceive. 4 had normal live births and 1 a miscarriage. The volume of their testicles fell greatly from 22.2-18.6 sd ml during the 12 months (p.05), but returned to pretest levels 75-135 days after removal. Further the mean rectal-testicular temperature difference was lower 3 months after wearing the sling than it was before they wore it (1.3-3 degrees Celsius; p.001). 3 months after they stopped wearing the sling, the mean rectal-testicular temperature difference reverted to normal. The polyester in the sling generated greater electrostatic potentials during the day than at night (326-395 volt/sq. cm. vs. 142-188 volt/sq. cm.; p.01). This was a result of the friction between the scrotum and the polyester sling. Germ cells of the seminiferous tubules still exhibited degenerative changes 6 months after removal of the sling. Within 140-170 days after removal, sperm concentration levels returned to pretest levels (40 million/ml). Apparently the electrostatic field effect and the disordered thermoregulatory effect of the polyester sling produced azoospermia. In conclusion, the sling is a safe, acceptable, inexpensive, and reversible method of contraception in men.”

Bonus Figure:


"Figure 2: Diagrammatic illustration of the electrostatic potentials created on the polyester suspensor and the scrotal sac. The electrostatic field is demonstrated."


Image: flickr/Whatsername?

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  • Brian Too

    I’m experiencing, ah, shrinkage, just trying not to look at Mr. Polyester. Put that leg down mister!!

    With that on display I don’t need any Balzac.

  • TacoTuesday

    Friction: not always good for your junk. Who knew?

  • Peter

    I think it is probably worth pointing out that this study was performed in Cairo, and it is a well known trivium that the scrotum plays a crucial role in keeping the testicles and sperm at suitable temperatures. I suspect that this hammock would be less effective in colder climes, or for people that much of their time in air conditioned environments

  • Joanna Cake

    If only I’d known about polyester underpants…

  • Mince

    Yeah, I’m not totally sold. Shrinkage, friction and the (probably unrelated yet frightening) 20% failure rate of pregnancies isn’t very appealing.

  • Uncle B

    After the Nuclear holocaust caused by American quest for oil, we will all be sterile – problem solved, and the world will be a better place!

  • Lisa

    The other thing to consider is that Muslim men shave or trim their pubic hair regularly, and therefore the various effects might be lessened among men who don’t.

  • Jockaira

    If part of the contraceptive effect was from static build-up, then one might consider a sexier and smoother silk jockstrap. Not only more stylish and comfortable, silk has a higher electrical potential and can be woven in much finer meshes, serving double duty as a fabric condom. Polyester weaves are not known for their impermiability, especially since most of them are designed to be drip-dried.

    However, there is one type of polyester jockstrap that would certainly deter unwanted pregnancies. Plaid patterns have been shown in many tests to render males impotent by fostering nagging guffaws and sniggering giggles from females.

    Me? White cotton socks held on with red rubber bands work pretty good!

  • MadSciKat =^..^=

    LOL! I couldn’t help thinking of “Willie Warmers”! =^..^=

    “Now that you’re getting older,
    And the nights are getting colder,
    Nothing could be neater,
    Than this little Peter Heater”


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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