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Increasing male participation in the uptake of vasectomy services
  1. Hari Singh1,
  2. Ashutosh Mishra2,
  3. Dawood Alam3,
  4. Vivekanand Pandey4
  1. 1Project Director, EngenderHealth, Delhi, India
  2. 2Senior Program Officer – M&E, EngenderHealth, Delhi, India
  3. 3Senior Technical Advisor – Demand Generation, EngenderHealth, Delhi, India
  4. 4Senior Program Officer, EngenderHealth, Delhi, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hari Singh, EngenderHealth, B4/45, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110029, India; hsingh{at}engenderhealth.org

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Why is there a need to increase male participation in family planning?

In India, family planning is considered to be the woman's responsibility and tubal ligation is much more popular compared to vasectomy. For every 98 women who undergo tubal ligation, only two men accept vasectomy, which reflects a serious imbalance and indicates gender inequity. About half the women in India are reported to be anaemic and a large proportion has reproductive tract infections. If not cured of reproductive tract infections, it is inappropriate for these women to undergo tubal ligation or have an intrauterine device inserted; use of contraception by husbands could be a better alternative.

What are the advantages of NSV?

For men, a safe, simple and effective method of permanent contraception is No Scalpel Vasectomy (NSV). This is an improved technique over conventional vasectomy with minimal pain, no incision, no stitches and no blood loss. The entire procedure can be completed in 20 minutes and the client can leave the clinic after 1 hour. He can resume strenuous work 2 days after the procedure.

Why is NSV unpopular?

It has been known for decades that the myths and misconceptions around vasectomy or NSV are the main barriers to its acceptance. People relate it to conventional vasectomy that is a relatively major procedure. They feel that NSV results in weakness such that they will not be able to do rigorous manual labour to earn their livelihood after the procedure. We conducted in-depth discussions with communities and health providers in an effort to understand what exactly they mean by weakness and why they link physical weakness with NSV. We learned that although people talk about physical weakness, their main concern is sexual weakness, which is a topic that they are hesitant to discuss. We learned that …

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