Jamaican men claim - Male birth control could make us infertile

November 04, 2016

Researchers in the United Kingdom have come up with what they have dubbed the 'male pill', an equivalent to female contraceptives, where doctors inject a gel-like substance into the sperm duct to prevent sperm form escaping and getting a woman pregnant.

However, the Jamaican men who spoke with THE WEEKEND STAR said there is no way they would undergo the procedure, which is expected to hit markets by 2018.

"No injection thing inna no balls! Me will gwaan use the condom, and when me ready me take it off. That sound weird. Suppose them give me the injection and it 'sheg' up me system?," Robert Matterson, a 37-year-old father of one, questioned.

According to the Parsemus Foundation, which is developing the drug called Vasagel, the product works by having a doctor inject a gel into the vas deferens (the tube the sperm swim through), rather than cutting the vas (as is done in vasectomy). If a man wishes to restore flow of sperm, whether after months or years, the gel is flushed out of the vas with another injection.


Sexually transmitted diseases


But none of the advantages were compelling enough to convince Jamaican men to warm up to the new technology.

"What about sexually transmitted diseases? It doesn't prevent against that, so it wouldn't make sense. Even if a one woman me have, mi no trust her 100 per cent say she nah go cheat and catch something then give me," said 38-year-old Wayne Fearon.

Calda Wint, 55, who has one daughter, said he believes the male contraceptive is a good idea for men who already have a lot of children and those who cannot afford children. However, he said he would not use Vasagel because he fears that it might have long term negative implications.

Meanwhile, Steve Knowles said he believes those products are for women.

"A woman alone fi take dem things deh, trust me. Just like how dem a change you sex and man a have baby, then them come with this," he said.

Despite all the naysayers, Dr Vernon DaCosta, who heads the Fertility Management Unit at the University of the West Indies, said he believes there is a market for such a product in Jamaica, but there is not enough funding to support research in the field.

"If the government promotes it, I think there would be a market for it here. But to fund research, we would need about five to 10 million dollars per year, and that's US dollars I'm talking about," DaCosta said.

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