Male sterilisation is easier and less risky than female sterilization. Yet, vasectomies are only 2.5 percent of all sterilisations in developing countries.
Reports show that female sterilization has jumped by 16.5 percent from 2016 to 2020, whereas male sterilization remains zero over the last four years.
Female sterilization is a highly accepted contraceptive methods among couples in Karnataka. Female sterilization, mainly tubectomy, is a permanent method of contraception in women. The surgery process involves blocking the fallopian tubes, which would prevent the egg released by the ovary from reaching the uterus.
A report by the National Family Health Survey – 5 (NFHS-5) 2019-2020,says that no side effects, is less complicated, and costs less compared to female sterilization. Lack of knowledge and misinformation about male sterilization has pushed women to be the sole bearer of sterilization.
During the pandemic, most women missed their sterilization surgeries due to fear of Covid , says Dr. Nayana Kumari S Kadamba, Obstetrician- Gynecologist at SPARSH hospital. She said, “Most women with cesarean babies opt for sterilization. Females between the ages of 26 and 36 are candidates for this procedure.” Sparsh Hospital had nine female sterilization surgeries in 2020 whereas only three so far in 2021.
She added, “Male sterilization is a less complicated procedure, but men avoid it because they fear losing their sex desire or becoming impotent as a result of the surgery. Families put more pressure on women to sterilize than on men. The majority of them believe that because the woman bears the kid, she is the sole receiver of this surgery.”
Sayantani Chatterjee, Ph.D.International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, said, “The general perception of use of contraceptive methods is largely conceived as a woman’s affair. Furthermore, the fertility rate has dropped down drastically owing to the increased uptake of contraceptive methods in the last twenty years. Fertility is already declining and has almost reached the below replacement level in India and a decent amount of people are contraceptive users. Governments can partner with the NGO bodies working on reproductive and child health (RCH) for the same.”
Shazia Shahid, who has undergone tubectomy said, “After my second child I opted for sterilization. Since I had a cesarian baby so I choose to go for the sterilization. My husband and I discussed this and we both agreed that I should go for the surgery.”
Dr. T.V. Sekher, Professor and Head of International Institute for Population Sciences in Mumbai said, “Female sterilization can help in increasing the overall contraceptive prevalence in the country. The Government of India has taken many initiatives to promote male sterilization including Vasectomy Fortnight in November every year, training of service providers in No-scalpel Vasectomy (NSV), increase in cash incentives provided, media campaign, etc.”
He added, “In developing countries, overall acceptance of vasectomy is 2.5 percent only. In fact, vasectomy offers clients an easier and cheaper alternative to female sterilization. Sustained promotion and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaigns can overcome rumours and raise the demand for vasectomy.”