For a few years, we have been toying with the idea of getting permanent sterilization. However, since we have come up with a quite efficient plan of contraception and abstinence, this was not in the forefront of discussion. Last year, we asked our primary physician about it and he advised me to contact a urologist. Once I started the process, I soon found that it is not an easy thing to be done in the US, especially with the dubious status of my insurance. It was definitely too expensive to do without insurance coverage. So, when during my visit to India , I went ahead and did it. I went to the Sree Chithira Tirunal Govt. Hospital (SAT hospital for women and children. Yes, I know, not a likely place to do vasectomy) and did the Non Scalpel Vasectomy (NSV). Of course it was not among the most pleasant things done to my penis and scrotum. However, it was relatively low impact and I had to endure only minor post operative pain.
I know this is kind of a personal thing and might not be the best subject to discuss in a public blog. I am not that socially open person either. But what prompted me to advertise this was a rather alarming statistics. In the last year, among more than 150,000 sterilizations done in Kerala, only about 1,100, less than 1% were vasectomies. The rest were procedures done on women.
First I thought this might be a special case for Kerala, but soon it was clear that this is a global phenomenon. The percentage of males undergoing sterilization is much less than that of females. This is one of those hidden sexist actions we males do but never acknowledge.
The main two reasons for men not going for sterilization are two fold. One, they are afraid. Yes, as we men secretly know all this time that we are the meeker sex. We are afraid of so many things that might undermine our macho stature. Messing with our "Organ" definitely is the scariest things we could ever think of. The second reason is our opposition to random people handling our sex organs. The funny thing is that, we do not feel any angst when men and women medical practitioners pour over female genitalia for even the simplest of reasons as a fungus infection. It is with mortal fear men allow a doctor, male or female handling his "manhood". I think many of us fear a male doctor seeing it and judging the size of it. come on, what if his is bigger than mine and he actually sees it!!!
This is not an isolated statistics where women ends up doing men's dirty work. One other case is the HPV vaccine. The main culprit in spreading HPV are men who are the carriers of the virus. We all know that it is best to treat the point of distribution. However, the manufactures, even with indications that it will work just as well in men, went ahead and completed testing only with women (in developing countries, of course).
So, I had to announce that, I did go through NSV, I am proud of it, and recommend it to all men who does not want to have kids. It takes only a few minutes of your life, and has very minimal discomfort. I will take HPV vaccine if they are offered for men as well.
Hey, if you do it in India, you will even get Rs.1,100.00. I also strongly recommend you do it in a government hospital instead of private, where you can do it for free. If you do so, don't forget to donate the money back to the hospital. They need a lot of supplies that is hard to get through proper channel.
Before closing this post, I would like to thank the doctors, nurses and assistants of SAT hospital in Thiruvananthapuram who did my vasectomy, and all the dedicated and brilliant doctors and medical staff in the excellent government hospitals of Kerala.
I am really proud of my state :-)