Dr Paras Shah is the Chief Sexologist, Gujarat Research and Medical Institute and Director, Sannidhya Institute and Research Center for Sex, Sexuality and Health.
(As told to Aarti Pathak)
Why should only women have the surgeries?
Women go through menstruation from a young age till they reach menopause. Their bodies go through pregnancy and the related changes. Later they go through delivery and breast feeding… There’s also PMS, ovulation pains and the menopause… Women do this alongside child rearing, running homes and going to work.
After all this, telling the women to go and get another surgery for family planning is nothing short of abuse. The man’s only contribution is to make his wife pregnant. His body goes through no trauma. His body goes through no changes. It is only fair that they step up and take a little share of the responsibility for the family – more so as vasectomy is a far less invasive procedure than tubectomy. The famous tagline says, ‘why should boys have all the fun?’; But I would ask why should women have all the surgeries?
Once a couple has completed their family and their youngest child is five years old, they can start looking at family planning options.
The best way to convince men about vasectomy is to tell them the truth.
Clear the myths
It does not lead to the end of sexual desire or erections. The only thing that vasectomy stops is the ability to produce children, not the ability to enjoy sexual life. A man who has had this procedure done can have sex even up till his last breath! Ejaculation does not reduce due to vasectomy either, as only 1% of ejaculation isthe semen.
The female body has endured a lot
It is the truth. Tell him about what your body has already endured: pregnancy, delivery/C-Section, breast feeding, PCOD, other surgeries… A Ttubectomy would just add to previous adhesions and it wouldn’t be in your best interest.
Vasectomy versus tubectomy
Vasectomy is a simpler procedure than tubectomy. Done under local anaesthesia, the surgery can be done in the doctor’s office itself and the man can go home the same day. Tubectomy, on the other hand, is done under general anaesthesia and the procedure is much more invasive. Remember, the woman has already gone through pregnancies and deliveries.
Remind him of the biggest advantage
Of being able to have sexual intercourse without the fear of pregnancy. You can do away with the box of condoms and no one needs to worry about remembering to pop the contraceptive pills daily at the designated hour.
It is reversible
Though vasectomy is called a permanent solution to birth control, it is in fact a safe and reversible procedure with a high success rate.
Because he loves you
Vasectomy is far more economical than having another child and way more convenient than having an abortion!
Vasectomy is a safe and effective procedure which is beneficial for both the man and woman. It is a very personal decision and the couple must sit together and decide what they want to do. Once they have made up their minds, the doctors will guide them further.