Male sterilization hits zero

Health Karnataka Science

Female sterilization  has increased by 9 percent in the state while male falls to zero.

A report by National Family Health Survey suggests, vasectomies went from 0.2 percent in 2016 to zero in 2021. While, tubectomies saw an increase from 48.6 percent to 57.5 percent in five years.

Dr Aarti Kulkarni a Gynaecologist said that vasectomies were already rare and after the pandemic there were none. “After the pandemic, we have barely received any vasectomy cases. We used to get at-least two to three vasectomy cases in a year and about 900-950 tubectomy cases in a year. We had no vasectomies this year.”

Kulkarni added that the Indian mentality was to make the female responsible for family planning measures. This included the sterilization procedure even though the surgery is riskier for females.

Only two to three vasectomies would happen in a hospital every year

A Medical Inspector from Family Planning Association of India said, “A tubectomy is a permanent procedure for preventing future pregnancies in women by blocking the fallopian tubes and preventing the release of the egg. Vasectomy is done in men to prevent pregnancies by blocking the sperm.”

She added that about 90-110 tubectomies are done in a month while only two to three vasectomies are done in a year. “Tubectomies are more preferred by families as they don’t want the men to undergo unnecessary surgeries even though tubectomies are more expensive, riskier.”

She said that most people that come from the economically weaker section have a psychological inkling to push the women. She added that she always informs the couple before they opt for the surgery and tells them how vasectomy is the better and easier option. “But their mind is already made-up and the only thing we can do is conduct awareness campaigns and educate them properly about the risks involved.”

Raji (name changed) said, “It never occurs to people to get a vasectomy done, they think the easiest way for birth control is by tying our fallopian tubes. This is what happened to me as well.”

Raji said that she expects to be given the choice to decide if she should get the procedure or if her husband should. “I hope that this is an issue that the current generation does not have to face. They are smart and more aware.”

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, in a study on the ‘Standards for Female and Male Sterilization Services’ stated that  general counselling should be done whenever a beneficiary has a doubt or is unable to take a decision regarding the type of contraceptive method to be used. However, in all cases method-specific counselling must be done.