More men opting for sterilisation, reveals RTI data

May 08, 2018, 07:19 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

Over last 5 years, 19% more men from city opt for vasectomy, even as number of women undergoing tubectomy dips

Increasing awareness and BMC's consistent efforts are helping to bridge the gender gap as far as sterilisation surgeries are concerned, but Mumbai still has a long way to go. Though the number of men opting for the surgery has increased by 19 per cent from 2013 to 2017, the same among women has seen a dip. Even the total number of sterilisation cases in the city has dropped by 10 per cent.

Rising trend
According to sources, last year, to encourage more men to undergo vasectomy, the civic body had declared R1,451 for each of them and R200 for those who convince other men for the procedure. As per the data collected through RTI, in 2013, only 729 men underwent the procedure for permanent contraception, which rose to 869 in 2017. In 2014, only 424 men underwent vasectomy, which increased to 810 the following year and 729 in 2016.

RTI data

But the point of concern at the moment is that the overall cases of sterilisation have decreased by 10 per cent in the city over the last five years. In 2013, a total of 23,231 cases was reported, which dipped to 20,919 in 2017. But BMC officials are of the opinion that due to a rise in other forms of contraception, number of sterilisation cases has gone down.

Dr Ganesh Shinde, a gynaecologist from Cooper Hospital, said, "Vasectomy is a simple procedure in which the male vas deferens, which transports mature sperms to the urethra, is cut and tied or sealed. This process is much safer and simpler than tubectomy (female sterilisation). Due to increased awareness, more men have come forward for the surgery over the last five years."

Bridging the gap
However, the disparity remains, as in 2013, 22,503 tubectomy surgeries were conducted compared to 729 vasectomies. In 2017, 20,050 women underwent the procedure, as compared to 869 men.

According to data collected by RTI activist Chetan Kothari from the BMC Public Health and Family Welfare Department, in 2013, for every 31 female sterilisation surgeries, one vasectomy was recorded. Whereas, the same ratio went down to 1:23 in 2017. Dr Ashok Anand, head of the maternity department, JJ hospital, said, "It's good sign we are seeing a change in the approach and thinking of people. Most undergoing the surgery in civic hospitals are poor. Convincing them is a challenge."

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