“Snowballs” are a quirky name for a great concept – underwear to help men with infertility issues. After experimenting with different techniques to help him and his wife conceive, designer Joshua Shoemake found that using ice in the nether regions helped to bring down high temperatures and improve fertility. After ‘icing’ for a year, Shoemake became a father himself, and soon afterwards developed the idea of organic cotton underwear with re-freezable SnowWedges incorporated in the design, perfect for cooling.
The wedges are made from a non-toxic gel with the idea that once frozen, they maintain a comfortable temperature for around 30 minutes. They mold to the body for comfort and could help the ‘cooling underwear’ act as a great non-invasive alternative for men experiencing problems in the fertility department. Male infertility accounts for 40% of all infertility, and although the Snowball designs don’t come with a fertility guarantee, they could certainly lessen the stress and cost of a trip to the doctors.
The True Story
“So here’s what we’re doing,” a friend and I would say at parties. “We’re researching cooling devices and the male…anatomy…in order to create comfortable underwear that will chill your balls.”, Joshua claims.
This was a conversation starter, to put it mildly. Several months later, when an unsuspecting lunch guest caught us in the kitchen holding freezer bags to the fronts of our pants, we were already convinced that we were onto something big. The lunch guest had her doubts.
Male infertility accounts for roughly 40% of all infertility, but it’s still tough to sound cool when talking about it. That’s why we loved the name we’d dreamed up for this still-imaginary product: Snowballs! Some thought it was insensitive, or inappropriate, but for us it was just a punch line for a story we were dying to tell. You see, my friend and I had both been through the “fertility factory” with our wives, losing our money and our minds until we began to look more closely at the actual causes of infertility…and became obsessed by heat.
It was my friend and his wife who really provided the breakthrough. It had been a painful year. There had been a silent miscarriage after two years of trying, and the best doctor that money could buy had said that their chances were now zero. They ignored his advice and saw another doctor, and then another, until finally one gynecologist took the time to sit down with them and listen carefully. Almost immediately, he had a new plan. First, my friend should begin icing his balls. Huh? And then he should have himself tested for a varicocele. Again, huh?
But they went home that day thinking, Why not? They had tried just about everything else. And so they began to do some research into heat and varicoceles, which are enlarged veins in the scrotum that bring more blood and raise scrotal temperatures. This heat thing made sense. We were guys, we knew how to fix things, and maybe we could hack our fertility. So my friend began to ice…
And a beautiful daughter was born about a year later…
And I committed myself to sharing what we had learned with anyone who would listen. I researched cooling devices, chemical compounds, organic cottons, and ergonomic underwear. I perused dozens of scientific studies and solicited factories all over the world to help produce a cooling underwear that would be comfortable and convenient. Over the past year I’ve gone through a half dozen prototypes, and now I’m confident that we’re ready to produce a quality product that can have real benefits for millions of couples out there.