Despite having introduced a simpler procedure for vasectomy, the permanent sterilisation procedure has still not gained wide acceptance among the men at whom it is targeted. According to doctors, world over, fewer men opt for sterilisation compared to women.

Last year, Kilpauk Medical College Hospital (KMC), the centre of excellence for ‘no scalpel’ vasectomy in the State, managed to convince less than 300 men to undergo vasectomies. While only 75 persons volunteered for the procedure, the rest of the patients were motivated to opt for vasectomy during an annual camp the hospital holds.

This year, the special ‘no scalpel’ vasectomy camp will be launched on Monday at KMC which usually holds these camps during the first seven months of the year as part of the family welfare department’s drive.

“We invite patients who have undergone the procedure to talk about their experience and motivate those who come to the camp,” said A. Kala, project director for the camp and head of obstetrics and gynaecology, KMC.

Ms. Kala said that last year, more than 3,000 tubectomies were performed. Tubectomy, the sterilisation procedure for women, is offered when a woman comes in for the delivery of her second child. “While women readily consent to the procedure they generally hesitate when we ask if their husbands could undergo a vasectomy instead,” she said.

The advantages of no scalpel vasectomy are many, doctors say. It is an outpatient procedure, done within five minutes and has no side effects. A woman who undergoes a tubectomy must be hospitalised for eight days. If a woman has a Caesarean section delivery and she is weak after childbirth, the hospitalisation is longer. The sterilisation procedure is also postponed until she gets better.

The government also provides incentives for vasectomies. A man gets Rs. 1,100 whereas a woman is paid only Rs. 600. “It is psychological, a matter of mindset,” said hospital dean P. Ramakrishnan. “Though it is a scar-free procedure and the patient is not inconvenienced the response is poor,” he added.

No scalpel vasectomy was introduced in 2000, after doctors were trained in the procedure, perfected in China, said Jikki Kalaiselvi, project officer, family welfare department.