Why should men consider vasectomy as birth control method?
Vasectomy is gaining ground among men from around the world but why aren't Indian men rising up to it? Read on to know all about the procedure and more
Thirty-six-year-old Jiju George (name changed) and his wife are breathing in peace now. After the birth of their second child, the couple was told that the wife cannot go for a birth control procedure. “She became unwell after the second pregnancy and was proclaimed unfit for a permanent birth control procedure. The only way out was self sterilisation through vasectomy,” says George.
The ‘decision was tough’. “I thought I would become namard (impotent). Only when my doctor convinced me that vasectomy will have no effect on my libido and other things, I decided to go for it,” he adds. The rest is history now. “I have felt no difference since then,” informs the Mumbai-based IT professional.
Going by the plethora of statistics, it has been observed that our society is biased towards men when it comes to birth control procedure. According to the United Nations, female sterilisation makes up for two-third of the total contraception and only 1% of men choose to sterilise themselves in India.
“Men do not opt for vasectomy as they feel they will lose their manhood, which will directly affect their sexual performance. However, this is not true,” says Dr Papia Goswami Mukherjee, gynaecologist, Kumar Clinic, Mumbai. According to her, the procedure is extremely safe, long-lasting and simple. “It also has a 99% success rate,” adds Dr Mukherjee.
Men often refrain from opting from a vasectomy because:
- They believe they will lose their masculinity and sexual performance after the operation
- Some fear that the procedure leads to weakness and inability to perform routine tasks
- It is a social stigma and men fear being shamed or taunted by their peers
How simple is vasectomy?
The sperms from the testicles pass through the two tubes to form semen. In vasectomy, these tubes are blocked. The blocking can be done through two ways:
- Incision: “The procedure is carried out by administering local anesthesia to the pelvic area. Incisions are made on each side of the scrotum to reach each the tubes. In most procedures, a small section of the tubes are removed. Tubes may be tied or blocked with the help of surgical clips,” informs Dr Shelly Singh, gynaecologist, Primus Super Speciality Hospital, Gurgaon. Since, it involves some surgical procedure, it may lead to some bleeding and infection.
- Non-incision: Here, the skin of the scrotum is not cut and only a tiny puncture is made to reach the tubes. The tubes are then tied off, cauterised or blocked. The tiny puncture heals quickly. No stitches are needed, and no scarring takes place. “The non-incision method reduces bleeding and decreases the possibility of infection, bruising and other complications,” adds Dr Singh.
How soon can you recover from vasectomy?
The procedure is performed by a urologist, surgeon and even a gynaecologist. “Overall, vasectomy takes only 15- 30 minutes to complete and is relatively simpler to perform than a tubectomy,” informs Dr Mukherjee.
Most men lose little or no time from work. A few need a day or two to rest if there are complications. In most cases, men can resume their sexual activities within a week.
However, here’s a point to note. Sterility does not happen immediately after the procedure as the sperms may still remain in the semen for 12-15 ejaculations post-procedure. Therefore, it is essential to use another form of birth control during sexual intercourse (for at least 3 months), until semen analysis clears them off. What’s more, the procedure is also cheaper than a tubectomy.
Does a man lose his sex drive after vasectomy?
Since no glands or organs are removed or altered, vasectomy does not decrease the production of male hormones nor does it affect his masculinity. “The male hormones and sperms continue to be produced. Everything feels normal, even the ejaculation. The only difference will be that the sperms will get reabsorbed in the system,” says Dr Mukherjee.
Interestingly, it has been observed that women question vasectomy more than men. Doctors state that it is the women who feel that men lose their virility and strength after a vasectomy and step up to undergo a sterilisation procedure themselves. Moreover, anything to do with childbirth is largely considered a women’s domain in our country.
If you do not wish to have children anymore and want to opt for sterilisation, visit a doctor to weigh the pros and cons of all the possible methods. Contraception is meant to reduce your troubles, not add to them. Whatever method you chose, be thoroughly convinced of it to continue enjoying a happy, stress-free, sex life.
Watch how a vasectomy is performed, here.
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