Women constitute over 99 pc of sterilised people in State

Women constitute over 99 pc of sterilised people in State

Women constitute over 99 pc of sterilised people in State

Forced by their families and driven by myths, far more women have been compelled to undergo sterilisation than men. Of the total number of people who have been sterilised, just 0.7 per cent are men. In other words, more than 99 per cent are women, official statistics say. 

In 2013, as many as 1,79,989 women underwent tubectomy — a surgical procedure in which fallopian tubes are clamped and blocked or severed and sealed so to prevent the eggs from reaching the uterus for fertilisation.

In comparison, the number of men who underwent vasectomy — a medical operation of cutting the tubes through which a man’s sperm move, in order to make him unable to make a woman pregnant — was just 1,312 or 0.7 per cent. 

Not only that, the number of men undergoing sterilisation came down over the last four years. While the percentage of sterilised men in the State in 2011-12 was 0.01, it came down to 0.008 in 2012-13. 

The Bangalore District Family Welfare Officer, Dr Mamatha, said that a lot of myths prevented men from opting for sterilisation. Many men believe that undergoing vasectomy would have an adverse impact on their health. 

Dr Nagendra, andrologist at BGS Global Hospital, explained that vasectomy was actually a simpler procedure than tubectomy in which some complications might be involved.

“Very few men know that they can resume work just three days after undergoing vasectomy. But they think vasectomy would render them physically weak and they would not be able to earn a livelihood.” 

He added that there was a need to motivate men to come forward for sterilisation. “In cities, at least a handful of men do turn up while in rural areas, the numbers are usually nil,” he said. 

D Nagalakshmi, State Secretary, Asha Workers’ Association, asserts that stigma plays a role here. “By what I understand from the group conversations we have had, it may also have to do with the stigma. Since most Asha workers are women, there might be stigma associated as they try to approach men and try convincing them.” The government’s cash incentives to men undergoing sterilisation are of little help. 

At health camps, far more number of women turn up than men. “If there are 30-40 women on an average, we find hardly one or two men.” Dr Mamatha said. Women from BPL families get a cash incentive of Rs 600 and those from APL families Rs 250. Men get Rs 1,100, irrespective of their financial background.