Medical questions, STis & Getting started

andro-switch-contraception-naturelle-homme

 

Contents:

  • Why have I never heard of male thermal contraception before?
  • Why isn't ANDRO-SWITCH reimbursed by the social security system?
  • What exactly is male thermal contraception (MTC) with testicular lifting?
  • Contraindications 
  • Which tests should I take?
  • Is the use of Andro-switch painful or uncomfortable?
  • Can I use Andro-switch safely if I am allergic to latex?
  • Can it affect my sexuality and libido?
  • Is MTC always reliable?
  • Is MTC reversible? 
  • What are the possible complications?
  • Can I wear my Andro-switch at night?
  • Identified side effect reversible within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles
  • Identified adverse effects reversible within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles
  • Do I need to have anyone’s consent?
  • Does my wife need to stop her own contraception method?
  • STIs: sexually transmitted infections
  • The 4 main steps of the MTC protocol summed up 
  • What should I do first?
  • How to put the thermal ring on and take it off?
  • How to choose your size?
  • Once in place, will the thermal ring slide off?
  • I forgot to wear my ring for a day, what should I do?
  • Do I need to wear it for 15 consecutive hours?
  • Will my testicles go back down?
  • Is it discreet?
  • Is it easy?
  • Can I urinate, have sex or wash myself with it on?
  • Can I use it outside of male thermal contraception purposes?
  • Where can I learn about male thermal contraception methods with testicular lifting?

 

All explanatory videos are to be found under the TUTORIALS tab.

Browsing through the website, you will quickly understand that male thermal contraception is one of the oldest existing methods that has been tested on the largest number of volunteers compared to other methods. Despite scientific evidence of its eligible alternative for men, it still hasn't been recognized. 

The question is not medical, but social, and is partly due to the societal and normative belief according to which men are responsible for protecting from STI and women for family planning...

Why have I never heard of male thermal contraception before?

However natural, simple and efficient it may be, male thermal contraceptions remains disregarded to this day. A few reasons can be invoked:

  • At the beginning, there were briefs that allow the testes to remain in an upward position. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get hold of one since it is only produced on demand and only through Dr Mieusset in Toulouse, the founder of the underwear and of the medical protocol. ARDECOM and THOMAS BOULOU both organize testicular lifting underwear workshops. If you attend one of these workshop, you will learn how to make your own underwear.
  • In France, it is commonly accepted that men are in charge of protecting against STDs with the condom and that women are in charge of family planning. This is commonly known as the contraceptive standards. The very idea of sharing the contraceptive responsibility fails to even arise.
  • Sociocultural obstacles contribute to slowing down the awareness and practice of the method as well as the spreading of its tools. It is still commonly accepted that the woman if the natural referent while the man is the cultural one. Male potency is still assimilated to fertility, that should by every means remain untouched, while the woman must control contraception for two. It is worth remembering that it takes two to conceive a child. The responsibility must therefore be shared.

Why isn't ANDRO-SWITCH reimbursed by the social security system?

Steps have been taken in order for the thermal ring to be covered, with time, by the social security system, but it’s a long shot. This is one of the reasons why the thermal ring is not expensive: its price shouldn’t hinder its accessibility. Steps have also been taken for the underwear and, with time, for other existing or future testicular lifting tools.

In this respect, all the tools (underwear, jock strap version, bra version, Andro-switch) are not medical contraceptive devices with a perennial marketing authorization. Only the underwear made and delivered at the Toulouse CHU has a temporary marketing authorization...

Currently, it is only considered as an innovating device specifically designed to hold the testicles temporarily in a supra-scrotal position for wellness purposes. Testicular lifting is not considered as a medical method (it happens naturally when you are cold or are wearing a diving suit for instance), as opposed to contraception.

It is your full responsibility and that of your doctor to use it to apply the male thermal contraception protocol with testicular lifting.

Make sure you always wear the ring according to the exact instructions of the male thermal contraception protocol and those provided by your general practitioner. In case of doubt, check with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you can't find the answer to your question, e-mail our Customer Service at service.client@thoreme.fr.

If you’d like to dig deeper, we invite you to read the following articles:

 

The following information is a summary of the Andro-switch Pack that we invite you to download.

 

Medical questions:

If you are not sure you can use an Andro-switch thermal ring with a specific medical condition, we hope you will find the answers you need here. However, if you have any doubts, make sure you seek advice from your general practitioner or another healthcare provider before you start using the Andro-switch.

What exactly is male thermal contraception (MTC) with testicular lifting?

The temperature rise in the testicles to match that of the body leads to temporary and reversible infertility. MTC is not an instant process: reaching infertility as well as getting your fertility back both require some time, usually about 3 months. Efficiency and reversibility are deferred. As a result, this is not an emergency contraceptive method. The production of spermatozoa happens continuously, 24 hours a day, but what is produced is not mature. A spermatozoon is only mature 2 to 3 months after its production. Just like women, men are also cyclical.

By maintaining the testicles in the inguinal sac 15 hours a day on a daily basis, the production of spermatozoa is put in stanby mode for a few weeks. When your sperm count is < 1 million/ml, you are considered contracepted (OMS 2010).

Contraindications:

Any anomalies of the groin, the pubis, the penis, and the testes, inguinal hernia, testicular cancer, strength decline in the hands, obesity, local skin infections around the penis, scrotum, groin and pubis area, contact dermatitis in the penis, scrotum, groin and pubis area, penile edema.

Lastly, the first seminogram needs to be considered normal: sperm count higher than 15 million/ml, progressive motility higher than 32%, normal forms depending on the method used.

Which tests should I take?

See your doctor for a simple anamnesis and palpation of the relevant area to check for potential anomalies, more specifically testicular descent problems. 

No biological examinations are required.

This medical visit can be a great time to do a preventive examination.

Before you start applying the medical protocol, you must have a seminogram done to make sure your spermatic values are within the 2010 WHO standards.

You will need to have seminograms done every trimester to ckeck that the concentration of spermatozoa is lower than 1 million/ml.

The document intitled “Instructions for use: Seminogram & male thermal contraception” included in the Andro-switch Pack will allow you to get a better insight into the topic.

 

Is the use of Andro-switch painful or uncomfortable?

Using the thermal ring and practicing MTC are painless if you follow the user manual and the male thermal contraception protocol accordingly.

Remember that this position of the testes is not unfamiliar to you. Your testes have most probably been naturally lifted before, or while wearing snug-fitting clothing.

If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop wearing it and seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist.

Like many others before, once you are used to the testicle-lifting practice, it is quite likely that you’ll consider the Andro-switch thermal ring as a good way to listen to your body, which might foster self-acceptance and improve your overall well-being.

Can I use Andro-switch safely if I am allergic to latex?

The Andro-switch thermal ring does not contain latex. So you can use it safely if you are allergic to latex.

Andro-switch is made from platinum-catalysed silicone, certified biocompatible (ISO 10993-10) with the Skin Safe Standard. It is flexible and clinically tested for extended skin contact. Hypoallergenic, latex-free, does not contain any colouring, BPA, phtalates, plastic, bleaching agents or toxins.

Can it affect my sexuality and libido?

You will still be able to have erections and orgasms while wearing the ring and practising male thermal contraception, just like before.

Testicle-lifting tools and the male thermal contraception method do not cause:

  • Acne / detectable gynecomastia;
  • Mood swings (aggressiveness / depression / asthenia);
  • Excessive libido;
  • Weight gain;
  • Change in lipids or hematocrit;
  • Hypertension;
  • Aphtosis;
  • Acute prostatitis.

The amount of sperm you will ejaculate will stay the same, but it will contain no or a few spermatozoa (contraceptive threshold: spermcount < 1 million/ml OMS 2010). No change in sperm appearance was reported.

The only change is that you cannot conceive a child for a given period of time. If you carefully consider your decision and don't feel forced to do it, you probably won't regret your choice.

Is MTC always reliable?

No contraceptive method is 100% reliable, even vasectomy. MTC is a so-called male contraception method that is natural, topical, non-hormonal et long-lasting (up to 4 years according to clinical trials). The method can be used for up to four years maximum, as the reversibility in terms of sperm parameters and fertility has only been acknowledged for this period of time. If you want to remain contracepted after that, please see your doctor. Whatever the contraceptive method, it is important to regularly change them.

It is efficient, reversible, comes with few or no side effects and is inexpensive. 

One of the great advantages of this method and of its regular control with seminograms is that the users can easily check the efficiency of the protocol and their observance of it.

It is considered as safe as the intrauterine device.

Is MTC reversible? 

Yes, once you stop wearing the device for over 24 hours, the production of spermatozoa starts again.

According to the WHO standard sperm parameters, fertility get back to normal within about 90 days (physiological time needed for the production of mature spermatozoa).

Have a seminogram done to make sure that you are back to normal. Before you stop any form of contraception, follow your doctor’s advice.  During this period of time, it is necessary to use another contraception method. If you are planning on conceiving a child, you should only start with your doctor’s approval depending on whether your spermatic parameters are back to standards.

What are the possible complications?

A reduction by a few percents in the volume of the testes has been observed.

There can be a risk of itchiness especially when taking the the thermal ring off after extended contact, similar to what women may feel when taking their bra off.

Can I wear my Andro-switch at night?

The clinically tested protocol of male thermal contraception is solely based on daytime use of the device. With your doctor’s approver, you can try wearing the Andro-switch thermal ring during the night.

 

Identified side effect reversible within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles:

A side effect is an effect that was not intended, whether it is expected or not. More often than not, a side effect is detrimental rather than beneficial.

Reduction by 10 to 15% of the volume of the testes, or 2 to 3 grams per testis.

Identified adverse effects reversible within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles:

When a side effect is detrimental, it becomes an adverse effect, that is unwanted. Its possible occurrence represents a risk that will need to be weighed against its therapeutic efficiency, in other words, the expected benefits for the patient. This examination of the expected benefits and risks involved is precisely called “risk/benefit ratio”.

Reversible alteration of the chromatin’s integrity & reversible alteration of the number of chromosomes. 

Do I need to have anyone’s consent?

It is recommended to discuss male thermal contraception and the use of the thermal ring with your partner. This decision concerns both of you. However, your partner is not obligated to voice their consent. You can also choose to practice MTC and to wear the thermal ring if you don't have a partner and if you don't have children.

See you doctor before you start practising MTC and wearing the thermal ring.

Does my wife need to stop her own contraception method?

Male thermal contraception is not an instant process. Both reaching infertility and getting your fertility back require a a few months. As long as your sperm count is > 1 million/ml, use another contraception method. Do not stop your current contraception without seeing your doctor. Both partners can absolutely have their own contraception. No contraception method is 100% reliable, but using two combined methods lowers the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.

 

STIs: sexually transmitted infections

  • Practising MTC and wearing the annular ring will not provide any protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STD) or infections (STI), against which the condom is the only effective barrier.
  • It is essential to wash the thermal ring with lukewarm water and soap before and after each use during sexual intercourse.

Good to know:

The best way to protect against HIV infections or other sexually transmitted infections is to apply the safer sex rules. That means:

  • Always use condoms (male or female) for penetrative sex, whether vaginal or anal.
  • To get advice regarding your own situation, do the safer sex check on lovelife.ch.

You can also visit the FB page or website of  Sida'sos, an organization whose mission is to inform youngsters about sexual health (STIs, contraception, sexual orientation, gender... ) and encourage discussions.

 

And finally, if you’re looking for the MTC medical protocol with testicle liftinf, click on the following link:

R. Mieusset & JC. Soufir, Practical guide to male hormonal or thermal contraception

 

Wikipedia pages have been created to explain in detail how male thermal contraception works and reference the scientific literature on the subject:

And of course, if you need any help, e-mail us at customer.service@thoreme.org.

 

Getting started

I just received my Andro-switch.

A summary of the 4 main septs of the MTC protocol:

  • Make an appointment with your general practitioner to have your first pre-contraceptive visit and get a prescription for a seminogram that you will need to do before you start following the male thermal contraception medical protocol. This method is only addressed to those whose spermatic parameters fall within the WHO 2010 standards. (Seize the occasion to do a complete health check.) 
  • If everything’s ok and with your GP’s approval, start following the 15 hours a day, 7 days a week protocol. You are not contracepted until your sperm count is below 1 million/ml. Remember that spermatozoa production is an ongoing process but that it takes 3 months for a spermatozoon to become mature. During this period of time, double your contraception method and only stop it with your doctor’s approval. 
  • Once you are contracepted, you will need to do a quarterly check with a seminogram. If your sperm count gets higher than 1 million/ml, immediately double your contraceptive method and check again the following month. It is really important to make sure the testes are maintained above the ring, at the root of the penis for the method to be effective. The method can be used for up to four years maximum since reversibility in terms of sperm parameters and fertility has been acknowledged for this period of time. If you want to remain contracepted after that, please see your doctor. Whatever the contraception method, it is important to change regularly. 
  • Once you wish to stop using this method, tell your GP, stop wearing the ring and use another contraception method. Wait for 3 months, which is the average time for spermaotozoa to be renewed, do a seminogram and with your doctor’s approval you can start planning on conceiving a child if you so wish or use a different contraception method.

What should I do first?

Congratulation for taking the plunge!

Just with like anything new; wearing the thermal ring and practising male thermal contraception with testicle lifting (MTC) may require a periode of adjustment. The gesture will come naturally soon enough.

Here are the steps to get started with Andro-switch:

  • Prepare your thermal ring.
  • Before you use your Andro-switch for the first time, you can boil it or wash it with a gentle soap and lukewarm water. To learn more about how to clean your thermal ring, refer to the Care & Sports FAQ section.
  •  When first starting to practice male thermal contraception, it is recommended to do the first placement with your general practitioner.
  • Take your time.
  • Using male thermal contraception requires you to wear the ring 15 hours a day, every day. 
  • You have all the time you need to get used to it.
  • The right moves may come naturally from the very first time, but you may also need a few trials to get used to it. If you feel tense or frustrated, don't insist. Put your thermal ring away and try again later.

If you are using it for the first time, it is advised to start wearing the thermal ring as follows:

  • Days 1 and 2: 2 hours out of 24 
  • Days 3 and 4: 4 hours out of 24 
  • Days 5 and 5: 10 hours out of 24 
  • Day 7 and onward: 15 hours out of 24

Note: correctly wearing the ring according to the male thermal contraception protocol does not guarantee contraception from the first day of use.

Please note that practising male thermal contraception requires you to wear the thermal ring daily. This implies that if your device gets lost for over 24 hours, you will not be considered contracepted any more. Consider always having 2 rings on hand or any other testicle-lifting tool to avoid any problems.

Read the instructions.

This can sound obvious but some Andro-switch users are so eager to use their thermal ring that they forget to read the instructions for use. This guide includes clear graphics and illustrations and provides advice to solve some of the most common problems. If you encounter any problems, read it again.

How to put the thermal ring on and take it off?

To place the ring optimally, see the Placement & Removal section and seek advice from your doctor.

And of course if you need any help, you can reach us at customer.service@thoreme.org

How to choose your size?

There are five sizes available, and even though there is only a few millimetres difference between each model, it can be a game changer for a good, safe and efficient positioning. Find out how to choose the right size for you in the Which model to choose section and seek advice from your doctor.

Once in place, will the thermal ring slide off?

First of all, make sure your Andro-switch is in contact with your pubis (the area just above your penis) and your perineum (the area between your anus and the scrotum).

  Remember that once it is on, the skin around the thermal ring must be slightly stretched. Make sure it is the case around the 2 inguinal folds, the pubis and the perineum.

The testicles must be in the inguinal sac, which means they are above the thermal ring.

  If the size is right, the thermal ring should stay in place for the whole day.

Depending on the activities you are having, you may need to check that the thermal ring hasn’t moved down a little bit. If so, apply the testicle-lifting protocol once again with the thermal ring.

Finally, the thermal ring holds best on a dry skin. For activities involving water or causing heavy sweating in the pubis, inguinal folds and perineum area, you will need t check the position of the Andro-switch more often. If needed, pat the pubis, inguinal folds and perineum area dry, as well as the thermal ring.

I forgot to wear my ring for a day, what should I do?

If you forgot to wear the thermal ring for more than one day over a thirty-day period, seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist. If you forgot to wear the thermal ring for more than one day or if you are having a doubt, it is advised to use another contraception method while you check that you are below the contraceptive threshold of 1 million speratozoa/ml with a seminogram the following month. 

Do I need to wear it for 15 consecutive hours?

Not necessarily, since the protocol mentions exposure for 15 hours out of 24. You can totally break this exposure time up. What’s important is for your testicles to be exposed for 15 hours out of 24, 7 days a week. 

Will my testicles go back down?

One you take the thermal ring off, your testicles will naturally slide back down into the scrotum. This is painless.

Is it discreet?

The Andro-switch thermal ring is invisible underneath your clothes. It is 100% discreet.

Is it easy?

Once you get the hang of the placement and MTC protocol, this contraception method is easy to use.

Can I urinate, have sex or wash myself with it on?

Of course! Don't change any of your daily habits! This tool is flexible and elastic enough for you to have erections and urinate normally, and it will not hinder your movements. Remember it doesn’t have a pressuring effect like the cockring does. Your penis is like a sponge that fills with blood when in erection. Andro-switch is designed to maintain a normal venous flow.

Can I use it outside of male thermal contraception purposes?

Of course! Remember it is also a sex toy intended for wellness purposes. Nothing keeps your from using it as such while following the instructions for use.

How many thermal rings do I need?

Male thermal contraception is an everyday practice. If you forgot to wear it for over 24 hours, it is advised to use another contraception method. After one month, do a seminogram. Depending on the results and with your doctor’s approval, you can start using MTC only again.

If you lose your thermal ring, the same problem will arise.

This is why it is advised to always have 2 thermal rings on hand or another testicle-lifting device.

 

Download the “Post-Workshop” document made by the collective with the main practical questions regarding the DIY models and explores in concrete aspects the possible adjustments to the medical protocol here: Analyse des pratiques Thomas Bouloù 2018.pdf

Where can I learn about male thermal contraception with testicular lifting?

  1. See your general practitioner or get in touch with your local Family Planning Centre.
  2. Activist networks such as ARDECOM Paris or a local branch or the THOMAS BOULOU Collective will be able to help as well.
  3. A video by andrologist R. Mieusset, founder of the MTC, explains the protocol in 2 minutes.

Click on the squirrel to get back to the homepage

andro-switch-contraception-naturelle-homme
See the See the items found Founded product No product was found icon-close
An error occurred, please try again later view products No product was found during the research News Promotion Sales Flash sale  € loading ending recherche
Loading...