So-called male thermal contraception: Protocol & Tools

The medical protocol explained & introducing testicle-lifting devices

andro-switch contraception naturelle homme

Male thermal contraception relies on the combination of two key elements: 

 

  • A medical protocol for testicular thermal contraception
  • A testicle-retention device (testicle-lifting underwear or penile ring)

 

Using testicle-retention devices without applying the thermal contraception protocol cannot ensure the efficiency of the method.

 

This article provides a detailed explanation of the medical protocol that ensures reduced spermatozoa production and of the efficient way to use a testicle-retention device. It answers the main questions men can have before they start using this contraception method:

 

  • How does thermal testicular contraception work?
  • What are the contraindications?
  • Do I need to see a doctor before I get started?
  • What’s a seminogram?
  • For how long do I need to wear such contraceptive devices before I am sterile?
  • How many hours a day do I need to wear my testicle-lifting device?
  • Is this method reversible?
  • How long before I go back to being fertile?

 

Contents:

 

  • The detailed testicular thermal contraception medical protocol in 4 main steps
  • The testes high position, a very natural one
  • Finding your testicle-lifting device(s)
  • Table: Clinical trials of the testicular thermal contraception methods
Androswitch - male contraception

 

The detailed testicular thermal contraception medical protocol in 4 main steps

 

First step: before you get started

 

  • 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 testicular thermal contraception medical protocol. This method is reserved for men whose sperm count lies within the 2010 WHO standards. You are only eligible for it if the following contraindications don’t apply to you. (Use the occasion to do a complete health check.) 
  • 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 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.
  • Learning to place and remove the device: With the help of your GP, learn the testicle-lifting technique and the proper compliance criteria of the protocol.

 

Second step: start the thermal method protocol

 

  • 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. That’s what we call the spermatogenesis cycle
  • You will be considered contracepted if the sperm count is below 1 million/ml in two separate seminograms taken three weeks apart. This usually happens in one spermatogenesis cycle, or three months.
  • Identified side effect reversible within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles: Testicular volume reduction by 10 to 15% or 2 to 3 grams per testis.
  • Identified adverse effects reversible within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles: Reversible alteration of the chromatin’s integrity & reversible alteration of the number of chromosomes.
  • To avoid a pregnancy during this period when you are still fertile and to respect precautionary measures regarding the potential adverse effects, use a second contraceptive method and only stop using it with your doctor’s approval. 

 

Third step : do regular seminograms

 

  • Once you are contracepted, it is advised to do a monthly seminogram until the sixth month of use, then every other month if the compliance is good. 
  • If at any time your sperm count is higher than 1 million/ml again, use a back-up contraceptive method and check again the following month. It it absolutely essential that the testes are maintained above the ring, at the penis’ root, for the method to be effective.
  • The method can be used for up to four years maximum, as the 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 contraceptive method, it is important to regularly change them. This is a security measure taken out of precaution. With your doctor’s approval, you might want to go back to your normal spermatogenesis cycles and start using the method again after a period without it.

 

Fourth step: quitting the thermal contraception method

 

  • As soon as you wish to quit the method, inform your doctor and stop wearing the thermal ring or any other testicle-lifting device. Use another contraceptive method instead. 
  • It will take 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles (6 to 9 months) for your sperm count to get back to standards. All couples who have consequently wanted a pregnancy have had it and no anomalies have been found. No spontaneous miscarriage has occurred.
  • Remember that during this period of time, the fertile power of the spermatozoa can return before the sperm parameters are completely back to normal. Also, in view of the reversible adverse effects that can alter the genetic capital carried by the sperm and as a precautionary measure, another contraceptive method needs to be used during this transition time.
  • Do control seminograms for 2 to 3 consecutive spermatogenesis cycles after you stop wearing the device. With your doctor’s approval and depending on the seminogram results, you can fulfil your wish to conceive if applicable, and if not, use another birth control method.

 

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The testes high position is a very natural one

 

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. It is actually a good thing: in case there is not enough room lower down and to prevent the testes from being crushed, they can naturally and safely slide up above the penis, pain-free.

3 VIGNETTES REMONTEE TESTICULAIRE

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

Click here to access the complete online Andro-switch user manual.

Download the Andro-switch Pack (PDF version) for free.

Existing and available contraceptive devices:

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  • The Ball-Lifting Underwear (Remonte-couilles toulousain, RCT)

 

This legendary contraceptive underwear is only delivered at Toulouse University Hospital (CHU). You can make a similar model yourself thanks to activist networks and family planning centres.

If you are not comfortable with the sight of male genitals, do not watch this video showing how the briefs should be worn.

contraception-masculine-androswitch-anneau-thermique
  • The DIY contraceptive jockstrap

 

You can make a similar model yourself thanks to activist networks and this online tutorial.

If you are not comfortable with the sight of male genitals, do not watch this video showing how the jockstrap should be worn.

andro-switch-contraception-naturelle-homme
  • DIY contraceptive underwear made from a bra

 

You can make similar underwear models yourself – for aesthetes only – thanks to activist networks and this online tutorial.

The positioning of the bra model follows the same principle as the jockstrap.

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

Download the free Matron_RCT Thomas Bouloù 2018.pdf  document made by the collective to create your own testicle-lifting device step by step.

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  • Andro-switch: the contraceptive ring

 

Activist networks and some family planning centres (in France) have rings at their disposal. You can try it there. You can e-mail us at customer.service@thoreme.org or order directly through the website.

Clinical trials of the testicular contraception methods

 

Clinical trials of the testicular thermal contraception methods

Authors

Number of volunteers

Testicular heating technique

Number of exposure cycles

Number of

 unwanted pregnancies

Reversibility

Mieusset, R. et al.

14

  • Snug-fitting underwear with a simple whole
  • +/- 2°C with bodily self-heating in the inguinal sac
  • 15 hours a day, 7 days a week for 6-12 months

+-126

0

100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles

Mansat, A. et al.

ud

ud

0

100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles

Mieusset, R. et al.

19

+-285

0

100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles

Mieusset, R. et al.

ud

ud

0

100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles

F. R. Kandeel and Swerdloff R. S.

ud

  • Snug-fitting underwear
  • +/- 2°C with bodily self-heating in the inguinal sac
  • 15 hours a day, 7 days a week for 6-12 months

ud

0

100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles

Mieusset, R. et al.

21

  • Heating underwear of Ball-lifting underwear from Toulouse
  • +/- 2°C with bodily self-heating in the inguinal sac
  • 15 hours a day, 7 days a week for 6-12 months

+-315

0

100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles

Shafik A.

28

  • Jockstrap: half-ball or stitches to plug the canal
  • +/- 2°C with bodily self-heating in the inguinal sac
  • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 12 months

252

0

100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles

Shafik A.

14

  • Jockstrap: polyester lanyard on the scrotum
  • +/- 2°C with bodily self-heating in the inguinal sac
  • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 12 months

126

0

100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles

Mieusset R., Bujan L.

9

  • Snug-fitting underwear with a simple whole & snug-fitting underwear with a supple annular structure reinforcing the whole.
  • +/- 2°C with bodily self-heating in the inguinal sac
  • 15 hours a day, 7 days a week, undisclosed period of time

+-159

1 (due to

incorrect use

of the method)

  • 100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles
  • Identified side effect reversible within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles: Testicular volume reduction by 10 to 15%

Moeloek N.

ud

  • Jockstrap: scrotal polyester lanyard
  • +/- 2°C with bodily self-heating in the inguinal sac
  • ud, during ud period

ud

0

100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles

Wang C et al.

21

Sports underwear lined with polyester

+/- 0.8 to 1°C with bodily self-heating without testicle lifting

ud, during ud period

+-936

  • 0

The rise in scrotal temperature attributed to polyester lined sports underwear proved insufficient to cause significant spermatogenesis prevention or to alter the function of the spermatozoa.

100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles

Zhu H. et al.

ud

  • ud
  • +- 0.8 to 1°C ud
  • ud, during ud period

ud

  • 0

Soft testicular heating prevents spermatogenesis in a safe and reversible manner. In this study, we have tried to clarify which underlying molecular mechanism(s) are involved in spermatogenesis prevention caused by heat in the human testis. The reversible prevention of spermatogenesis caused by heat was induced by modulating the expression of proteins involved in proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and cell survival channels. These differentially expressed proteins turned out to be key molecular targets affecting spermatogenesis after thermal treatment.

100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles

Ahmad G. et al.

12

  • Heating underwear of Ball-lifting underwear from Toulouse
  • +/- 2°C with bodily self-heating in the inguinal sac
  • 15 hours a day, 7 days a week for 4 months

48

0

  • 100%
  • Identified adverse effect reversible within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles: alteration of the chromatin’s integrity

Abdelhamid MHM, et al.

5

  • Heating underwear of Ball-lifting underwear from Toulouse
  • +/- 2°C with bodily self-heating in the inguinal sac
  • 15 hours a day, 7 days a week for 4 months

20

0

  • 100%
  • Identified adverse effect reversible within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles: alteration of the number of chromosomes.

Mieusset, R. et al.

+-400

  • Heating underwear of Ball-lifting underwear from Toulouse
  • +/- 2°C with bodily self-heating in the inguinal sac
  • 15 hours a day, 7 days a week for 18 months

+-7200

Results of the multicentre study on acceptability in 2021

Results of the multicentre study on acceptability in 2021

15 clinical trials

Over 122 volunteers

(In 4 of the studies, the number of volunteers is not specified.)

  • +/- 2°C with bodily self-heating in the inguinal sac
  • 15 hours a day, 7 days a week for a maximum of 48 months

Over 1331 exposure
cycles

 1 grossesse non désirée par suite d’une mauvaise utilisation de la méthode 

  • 100% within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles
  • Identified side effect reversible within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles: Testicular volume reduction by 10 to 15%
  • Identified adverse effects reversible within 2 to 3 spermatogenesis cycles: alteration of the chromatin’s integrity & alteration of the number of chromosomes. 

 

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

Seek advice from your general practitioner or get in touch with your local Family Planning.

Activist networks such as ARDECOM and its local groups or the THOMAS BOULOU collective will also be able to help you.

A video by andrologist R. Mieusset, founder of MTC, explains the protocol in 2 minutes.

You can also visit the following pages:

Ardecom, R. Mieusset, Protocole de la contraception masculine thermique en 9 questions

Association française d’urologie: Contraceptions masculines non déférentielles

Wikipedia: Male Contraceptive

Wikipedia: Contraception masculine thermique

Wikipedia: Cryptorchidie artificielle

You can also visit these 6 reference websites for an overview of all contraceptive methods, pregnancy, STIs and sexual and reproductive health rights.

  • Sexual health info: Up-to-date and medically accurate information in several languages on sexual health topics.
  • HUG - Geneva University Hospitals: Sexual health and family planning.
  • Inspire: European Partnership for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
  • WHO - World Health Organisation: Sexual and reproductive health.
  • WHO - World Health Organisation: Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health - Contraception methods.
  • UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund: Sexual and reproductive health.
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