Roselyne Ouso, Marketing Manager of Marie Stopes Kenya, says that vasectomies, though on the rise in Kenya, are still very few. In 2015, Marie Stopes carried out 76 vasectomy procedures. In 2016, they did 86. A fair number of the procedures in 2016 were done in November after World Vasectomy Day.
"The fear most men have is loss of virility post procedure. A study carried out on knowledge and attitude towards vasectomy also showed that religion and cultural beliefs contributed towards the negative attitudes," Roselyne says.
As far as sperm-freezing is concerned, Roselyne agrees that this could encourage more men to have vasectomies. "The society is becoming more open-minded but we still have a long way to go. We need to create positive counter narratives to the negative stories or myths and misconceptions."
4 facts on vasectomy
1. The procedure takes approximately 10 minutes: A small incision or puncture is created in the scrotum and the vas deferens (sperm tubes) are exposed and tied or cauterized to prevent them from reconnecting.
2. Sexual function remains the same: Orgasms and ejaculation are not affected. A man will still ejaculate the same volume after the procedure. Sperm usually constitutes only 2 to 5 per cent of semen so its absence is not noticed.
3. Extremely low failure rate: According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (UK), only 1 in 2000 post-vasectomy pregnancies occur. Many of these occur within the first three months of the procedure. Doctors advise patients to use alternate contraceptives within these months because of the possibility of sperm still being present in the system for up to 25 ejaculations.
4. Vasectomy is more reliable and less risky than tubal ligation: The failure rate of tubal ligation is 1 in 200 compared to a 1 in 2000 for vasectomy. The recovery period for tubal ligation is between 1 and 3 weeks. The recovery period for vasectomy is between two and seven days. With tubal ligation, there is risk of an ectopic pregnancy which can be fatal. The most common risk with vasectomy is a post-surgery infection which is easily treated. - Mona Ombogo
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