Experts Doubt Safety Of Male Contraceptives


Some medical doctors in Lagos on Saturday expressed reservations over the safety of men’s contraceptives, saying that such family planning method had always had adverse effects on the human body.

Dr Ngozi Asogwa of Doctors for Life, an NGO, told newsmen  that scientific studies had shown that fertility awareness or natural family planning was a highly effective method than contraceptives.

She said that natural family planning remained a healthier option than contraceptives, although most physicians underestimated its effectiveness.

“In a world increasingly preoccupied with conserving nature and singing the virtues of naturalness, this is an anomaly, to say the least.

“There is no need to continue along the path of promoting risky contraceptives while ignoring a wholesome alternative,” she said.

Asogwa said that the family planning drugs called Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance (RISUG), produces an electrical charge that nullifies the electrical charge of the spermatozoa, preventing it from the ovum.

The medical expert warned people engaging in reproductive acts to know that it carried responsibilities and be ready to accept such responsibilities with their side effects.

Dr Philip Njemanze of the Chidicon Medical Centre in Owerri, told newsmen in a telephone interview that the contraceptive had the tendency to make men more promiscuous.

“Contraception on men as an idea is flawed because once you put such kind of permanent contraception on men; it has been shown in all models that it will increase the amount of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and others.

“One of the biggest deterrents to male promiscuity is that he might get somebody pregnant because he has a contraceptive.

“But if that mentality is suspended because he knows that he cannot get anybody pregnant, he will now take much risk which will expose him to even greater danger which is death from any of the sexually-transmitted diseases,” he said.

Njemanze said that the idea was dropped as a means of family planning, adding that if it was being resurrected now, it was not going to make it acceptable because of the side-effects.

However, Dr Olubayode Awosika of the Med-In Specialist Hospital at Ogudu in Lagos, said that family planning for men had faced problems of acceptance.

“Men think that their male power is in their fertility and when that is taken, they feel they have no powers.

“The fears will certainly be one of men not being willing to accept the contraceptive mostly in Africa where we feel that the woman can take care of herself,’’ he said.

The journal, Science Daily, recently reported the discovery of a compound known as JQ1 that may offer the first effective and hormone-free birth control pill for men.