9.5 Male sterilisation
Vasectomy is a permanent method of contraception for men, involving a minor surgical procedure where the vasa deferentia (singular: vas deferens), or sperm ducts, are cut and then tied or sealed (see Figure 9.4). This operation keeps sperm from mixing into the semen when men ejaculate. Without sperm, fertilisation of an egg cannot occur, and so pregnancy is prevented. In Ethiopia, vasectomies are usually done in hospital settings under aseptic (surgically clean) conditions. They are much simpler procedures than female sterilisation, and as a birth control method vasectomies are 99.9% effective.
Is vasectomy the same as castration? How would you explain this to your clients?
No. As you have already learnt, vasectomy is a surgical intervention to the sperm ducts that prevents sperm from reaching and mixing with the seminal fluid ejaculated during sexual intercourse. The procedure does not remove the testicles, and should not be confused with castration. In any discussion with clients, you might want to use appropriate and socially acceptable words in the local language, to best explain what is happening technically.