When it comes to choosing permanent family planning method for couples who don’t want any more children, asking an average Nigerian man to get a vasectomy is like asking a turkey to fly.
Vasectomy involves severing, then sealing off, a tube called the vas deferens, which carries sperm from the testes to the penis. This prevents sperm from reaching the seminal fluid (semen), which is ejaculated from the penis during sex.
Since there will be no sperm in the semen, a woman’s egg cannot be fertilised. The procedure has a 99.9 per cent success rate. Most men harbour the fear of impotence or reduced sexual performance after the procedure is carried out.
Experts say more men are choosing to preserve their fertility to have children later in life, particularly if their marriage breaks down or if they have to remarry.
They also say men may be deterred by the permanency, since vasectomies are very expensive and arduous to reverse, with uncertain success.
However a new study has shown that men have more sex after getting a vasectomy. Vasectomy is not a deterrence to having great sex with your partner.
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In their study involving 294 couples, researchers from Frankfurt University found 12.4 per cent of the men had sex more often after a vasectomy. Meanwhile, just 4.5 per cent reported having it less often. Four out of ten of those surveyed said their sex lives had ‘significantly improved’.
This could be because removing the stress of potentially getting their partner pregnant makes men feel more relaxed, experts say. This makes their love lives more spontaneous.
Their report concluded: ‘We were able to show the sexual satisfaction of men improved and that of the women did not diminish.
“The reason is presumably the absence of anxiety of unwanted pregnancies”.
In Nigeria, when couples decide on permanent contraception, it is often bilateral tubal ligation (BTL) – when the woman’s fallopian tubes are tied to prevent the ovum or egg from being fertilized during sex. This is done by surgical procedure or after a caesarean delivery.
However while this decision is usually tied to the health risks the woman faces if she has another pregnancy, vasectomy is never advised for the man.
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