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Vasectomy: Nigerian men think it’s un-African

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Vasectomy: Nigerian men think it’s un-African

By Iwezua Goodness Nigerian men have indicated that they will not go for vasectomy, a medical procedure for family planning purposes in men, reports the Nigeria News Agency .

Over the years, family planning had targeted women and their ability to decide if and when to get pregnant, but now men too could make such decisions.

Men can finally be part of the discussion about birth control via vasectomy, but many of them think it’s not a realistic alternative for a real African man.

Vasectomy is a short, simple medical procedure that involves cutting or sealing the “vas deferens,” the tube that carries a man’s semen.

A representative sample of Nigerians and medical experts interviewed in Abuja, the country’s federal capital, expressed different opinions on why vasectomy has remained unpopular among men.

concluded that for some men vasectomy remains unpopular among Nigerians as it is culturally unethical while others believed the procedure was a certain end to the unplanned birth.

Mr. Eijeh Emmanuel, physician and CEO of Exodus Medical Services, said that despite its safety and effectiveness, men remain reluctant to have a vasectomy due to cultural ideals.

“The gross misconceptions and ignorance have discouraged many men from having the procedure, especially men with a lot of children, while some are just afraid of going under the knife.

“Contrary to popular belief, vasectomy is not castration. Your testicles will not be cut. It does not affect your sex life. Your erection or orgasm does not change.

“In fact, having a vasectomy creates a way for you to have sex as much as you want and not worry about an unwanted pregnancy.

“It does not disfigure your identity as a man and the procedure is not painful as one would usually imagine.

“Men also use cultural belief to avoid the procedure because they take pride in their ability to produce more children even when they cannot care for them,” he said.

Emmanuel added that vasectomy is a method for men who no longer wish to have children. Surgery prevents sperm from entering the semen produced after ejaculation.

He said the procedure which takes between 15 and 20 minutes with a recovery time of 3 to 4 days is not life threatening.

Ms Zainab Mukhtar, communications and marketing manager at the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, said the procedure ensures that men can take charge of their productive right.

“It is high time that we became aware of the different options that exist outside of condom use. A man should be able to decide when he wants a child.

“This ensures that men can have sex without taking responsibility for raising children.”

Ms Mukhtar said the lack of awareness and education on the subject in Africa was largely the reason for the low acceptance of vasectomy.

“Many don’t trust the process; they believe the procedure is too western for them as Africans.

“They go ahead to describe it as dangerous even without proper information. Vasectomy is 99% effective and safe.

“Family planning is not complete if the man refuses to participate. Vasectomy is not the end of life, but a new era of responsibility.

“This is why the PPFN is keeping its doors open to address any concerns about family planning options,” she said.

She added that having the procedure is not expensive especially if it is a public establishment because it is not a difficult procedure.

Meanwhile, Mr Ojo Oni, a civil servant and father of 6, said vasectomy was a risk not worth taking for a man living in Nigeria.

“Nothing will cause me to have a vasectomy because of the uncertainty stored in life, especially for men living in Nigeria.

“There are stories of families losing children in accidents, the only solution is to give birth to more children and if he had had a vasectomy all hope would have been lost.

“Vasectomy is not popular in Nigeria because it does not fit our culture and beliefs. It’s more like a western option, ”he said.

Mr. Kalu Orji, a businessman, said the procedure was unnatural as no man should willingly put himself in such a situation for any reason.

“Having children is God’s blessing to mankind, why would anyone want to change them with surgery.

“If you have enough children, you can use other alternatives like a condom or ejaculation outside your partner’s vagina. But that (vasectomy) alters the pride of being a man.

Mr Kelechi Eze, however, said he saw nothing wrong with a man with an entire family undergoing a vasectomy.

He said vasectomy was one way to ease the pain most women face due to reactions to birth control pills.

“Most men don’t notice the bleeding, skin reactions, pain and more that women experience from prolonged use of birth control pills.

“They assume it’s a symptom of aging. Many women also go through life-threatening pregnancies even after the 5th child.

“It will be selfish on the part of any man who refuses to accept this solution because he thinks that only women should bear the burden. With vasectomy, men can take responsibility for childbirth.

Mr. Ezekiel Julius, an engineer, said that most men’s worry about vasectomy arose out of fear and ignorance.

“Africans are scared at the mention of the surgery and think they would go out on crutches. This explains the nonchalance of the men in the procedure.

“My brother underwent the operation after having two twins. He had a vasectomy on Friday and returned to work on Monday.

“When we went to see the doctor, we were told that the vasectomy can be reversed in some cases, but it was quite difficult to do. I believe there is nothing wrong with the procedure, ”he said.

Source: NAN

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