Leading family planning and sexual and reproductive health services provider Marie Stopes Papua New Guinea (MSPNG) is encouraging fathers and young men to consider the option of vasectomy when they are certain they do not want any more children.
As part of the non-profit’s efforts to promote the permanent male family planning method, a FREE no scalpel vasectomy (NSV) clinic will be held at its Port Moresby centre from 16-17 April 2021.
“In 2009, when we started doing NSV, we served 17 men. By 2019, we provided vasectomies to more than 2,400 men in PNG covering both urban and rural communities.” said MSPNG Service Delivery Director Loretta Bele.
According to Bele, MSPNG has performed over 10,000 non-scalpel vasectomies since it began operations in 2006.
“In order for pregnancy to occur, sperm travels through a tube called the vas deferens to the penis. NSV works by tying up or blocking the vas deferens tube so that sperm is not able to be released during sexual intercourse,” explained Bele. However, sexual desire remains unchanged.
The fifteen-minute procedure differs from the traditional vasectomy method in that it does not require an incision to be made, it is less invasive and has a quicker recovery time. No admission is required. The man walks in and walks out the same day.
Bele said historically, men have had a limited choice when it comes to family planning services.
“Most contraceptives focus on women but the NSV is one highly effective contraceptive method that allows men to take on a greater role in family planning,” said Bele.
When compared to tubal ligation (the permanent family planning method for women), Bele says NSV is quicker, has less complications and faster recovery rates. “It doesn’t require general anaesthesia like tubal ligation that women get. It is the most effective form of birth control available with the lowest failure rate.”
According to MSPNG Family Planning Trainer and NSV clinical provider, Mulas Salum, the most common misconceptions men have are that a vasectomy is going to be painful or that the procedure will affect their sex drive.
“The only thing that a NSV prevents is pregnancy. It does not affect sex drive or performance. It takes less than 20 minutes, and you can walk out straight after receiving the procedure,” explained Salum.
“Getting a vasectomy is something all men should think about and discuss with their partners. It is a very effective form of contraception and is much safer than a tubal ligation,” he added.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, MSPNG has seen an increase in its client numbers with many men reaching out to enquire about the permanent family planning method.
“Previously men were accompanying their partners to our centres, but now they are coming in as clients. While there’s still more awareness to be done, it’s good to see that we’re slowly changing our perception on family planning,” said Mulas.