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Reprod Health. 2017 Feb 8;14(1):21. doi: 10.1186/s12978-017-0286-5.

Perspectives of urban Ghanaian women on vasectomy.

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School of Public Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
School of Public Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
Catholic University College of Ghana, Fiapre, Ghana.



Advocacy for male involvement in family planning has been championed over the years after the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). There are a few contraceptive methods for men, and vasectomy uptake has been identified as one of the indicators of male involvement in family planning. Vasectomy also known as male sterilization is a permanent form of contraception. It is a generally safe, quick, easy, effective surgical operation with rare complications to prevent release of sperm. The study explored the vasectomy perspectives of urban Ghanaian women.


A qualitative approach was used and five focus group discussions were held with women in urban Accra. The study was conducted in the five sub-metropolitan areas of the Accra Metropolitan Health Directorate from September-October 2013. Participants were adult and young adult women who are members of organized groups and unions. Data were analyzed manually after transcribing and coding and themes were sorted using thematic version 0.9.


Both adult and young adult participants regarded vasectomy as an easy way for male partners to become promiscuous and cheat on them (women) because the operation renders males incapable of having a child; promiscuity could lead to the women contracting sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. They were also skeptical about vasectomy and the possibility that it could damage the sexual organs of their partners and affect their sexual relationships. The uptake of vasectomy will not benefit a new wife in case of divorce or death of a previous wife. Some women would allow their partners to undergo the procedure only if both of them will benefit health-wise and also if it would reduce the financial burden on the family.


The women held mixed perceptions; both negative and positive views were shared on vasectomy uptake. The views were predominantly negative, and they regarded vasectomy as an unacceptable method of contraception. The women virtually had no reasons to encourage their partners to undergo a vasectomy. In order to increase vasectomy uptake in Ghana, innovative efforts to address the misconceptions and superstitions surrounding vasectomy should take centre stage; appropriate and targeted messaging during integrated health services delivery and social/health campaigns would be a good starting point.


Male partners; Perspectives; Uptake; Urban Ghanaian Women; Vasectomy

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