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Male involvement in family planning results in improved reproductive health and gender outcomes for women. In India, the use of family planning methods remains largely female-dominated. Recent media reports have indicated a rapid decline in male sterilization use in the past few years. This study aimed to assess the trends in, patterns of and factors associated with the use of male sterilization and male spacing methods in India using data from four rounds of the National Family Health Survey, conducted from 1992 to 2016. Bivariate analysis was done to see the trends in, and patterns of, male sterilization and spacing methods, while multinomial logistic regression was used to understand the factors associated with male spacing methods and sterilization. The results show a marked decline in the prevalence of male sterilization from 1992–93 (3.5%) to 2015–16 (0.3%) in India. Of the 640 districts, only 21 had a more than 2% prevalence of male sterilization. Scheduled tribe couples were two times more likely to use male sterilization than other (upper/no caste) groups. Couples from the northern region were significantly more likely to use male sterilization (aOR: 1.68, 95% CI: 1.43–1.97) compared with those from the south. There was a regional disparity in male condom use, with a very small proportion of couples in the southern (1.1%), north-eastern (2.4%) and eastern (3.3%) regions using the method compared with couples from the northern region (9.7%). Couples from the northern (aOR: 8.89, 95% CI: 8.44–9.38), north-eastern (aOR: 11.37, 95% CI: 10.62–12.18), eastern (aOR: 6.96, 95% CI: 6.60–7.34), western (aOR: 4.65, 95% CI: 4.40–4.92) and central (aOR: 10.89, 95% CI: 10.35–11.46) regions were also significantly more likely to use male spacing methods than those from southern India. Therefore, a greater focus on increasing the use of male sterilization and condoms is required in India to reduce the gender disparity in the use of family planning methods.
Apart from the use of condoms, vasectomy is the only method of birth control that is the responsibility of the man. Vasectomy is more cost effective, less invasive and has a lower failure rate than sterilization in women. The general practitioner (GP) plays a very important role when a couple or an individual consults them about a vasectomy referral. Bearing in mind the poor pregnancy rate of vasectomy reversal and the potential cost, some men may want to have information about sperm storage. Cryo-storage would allow artificial insemination of their current partner or of a new partner. Vasectomy operative techniques described in this chapter include: open-ended vasectomy, fascial imposition, and Pro-Vas. The chapter explains that the man may experience a small amount of pain and discomfort during and after the procedure and that usually paracetamol is sufficient for pain relief.
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