A study was conducted by the Department of Community Medicine in MGM Medical College at Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, to assess the knowledge and attitude of married men towards vasectomy.
As many as 47.1 per cent of respondents in the study – which was a descriptive cross-sectional study carried out amongst 121 married men selected by simple random sampling – felt that men should not undergo vasectomy. 57.9 per cent strongly felt that contraception was the wife’s responsibility alone. The respondents were in the age group of 21-50 years and hadn’t undergone vasectomy.
The study found that 70.2 per cent men were aware of vasectomy, with their main sources of information on the subject being mass media (42.35%), family and friends (29.41 per cent) and doctors (24.7 per cent). 70.2 per cent of the respondents knew vasectomy is a permanent method of contraception. However, 45.5 per cent did not know whether sexual functions would return to normal following a vasectomy. 42.1% felt that tubectomy, a sterilisation procedure for women, was better than vasectomy. Furthermore, 31.4 per cent of the respondents felt that a vasectomy would influence their self-confidence and masculinity.
The main reasons given by participants in the study for their disapproval of vasectomy were: “Women are best suited for sterilisation procedure” (68.42 per cent), “Vasectomy can make men impotent” (14.03 per cent), “The procedure leads to general weakness and blood loss” (13.03%), “Can’t do heavy work” (11.5 per cent) and “Fear of surgery” (5.7 per cent). Only 16.5 per cent men agreed that vasectomy is better than tubectomy.
“Women willingly get their tubectomy done without any resistance due to lack of concern for their health. It also shows a lack of awareness and inadequate decision-making power on the part of women, which maybe again due to a lack of literacy and lack of communication. The gender-biased attitude of men can also play a role in the non-acceptance of the vasectomy procedure,” the study says.