DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/09 November) — Only a few men are willing to undergo vasectomy as a birth control method even if the City Health Office is offering free no-scalpel procedure, an official said.
Speaking during Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City, Jeff Fuentes, officer-in-charge of the City Population Division, told reporters it’s hard to convince men to undergo vasectomy as they fear it would affect their manhood.
“Because of the macho society, they will always think that they will lose interest having sexual intercourse if they undergo vasectomy. They equate it with castration, which is not true. Family planning should be shared by the couple,” he said.
“This is the most difficult of all family planning [methods]. We’re trying hard to popularize the program but it’s very challenging,” he said.
Fuentes noted that Davao is the only city in the country that offers free no-scalpel vasectomy on a monthly basis, or every last Friday of the month in different locations.
He said the agency has gone to eight different locations, including far-flung barangays in Marilog district, so that residents will have easier access to the free services.
“We want to bring the services nearer to the people, daghan naglisod kay walay pamasehe para makanaog (many don’t have the money to go to the city),” he said.
Fifty-five men have undergone vasectomy so far this year. Last year, 59 others availed of the procedure.
Fuentes cited that the main reasons men would choose to undergo vasectomy are either they can’t afford having a big family or their wives are physically unfit to undergo ligation.
Dr. Titus Theodore Antonio, district health officer of Talamo and Puan Health Center, explained that the procedure is done without using scalpel blade which induces only minimal pain.
He said it means permanent sterilization for men, which is more cost-effective and safer compared to ligation for women, an internal surgery that carries the risk of infection.
“Ang manhood dili matandog, ang agihanan sa semilya. Pag-abot sa pagkalalake mao ra gihapun ka (Your manhood will not be compromised, it’s only done on the vessel of the semen. When it comes to your manhood, you’re still the same),” he assured.
He added that this procedure usually costs P80,000 excluding the medications needed.
The City Health Office is celebrating on November 13 the World Vasectomy Day. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)