Takes two to tango as the saying goes. If a permanent form of birth control is such that egg is prevented from meeting sperm – indicating two people are involved here. In the case that a couple have had enough children or perhaps both were in agreement not to reproduce, so logically either of the two can opt for sterilisation – why is the burden only placed on women especially the poor women around the world?
Each time I read about the female sterilisation gone wrong in India, I wonder how long it will take before people get dragged off the streets of Nigeria so the doctors could perform their duty of saving the planet on them, after all we are the 7th most populous countries in the world.
The recent case in Kenya is unsettling, mothers being sterilised without their consent.
Educate women on the issue at hand, forcing them will always backfire.
Rose is a 36 years old friend of mine, she is a devout christian, the Nigerian born-again type. She is happily married and at the point of her procedure had four children under six years and works full-time. It was after birth of her fourth child she decided to get on birth control, the one that is not only permanent but have high success rate.
Rose started conversation on the ‘best’ birth control measure one could use. We talked about a range of options from pills, injections, coils to implants, all of which were reliable but require paying some level of attention/renewal. Then, Rose talked about sterilisation as the one she really wanted to do because it is permanent. I am not sure I’d do that, not for any other reason than the fact that it’s just better to have the option open, I opined.
What transpired later was that Rose has collected information on types of female sterilisation tubal occlusion and hysteroscopic sterilisation, she has read all that needed to be known especially the risks involved. The only reason she brought the conversation up with me was to get support. I wasn’t much of help because I have never thought about that form of contraception before.
Educate a woman, she will make the best decision given her specific circumstance to the tune that everyone is happy.
A week later, Rose called to say she has been to her doctor, so she is convinced sterilisation is the best option for her. She is on a year maternity after her last baby and wanted to get the procedure done before she went back to work.
Husband laughed off vasectomy as if it was a curse.
The doctors had three more meetings with Rose one of which I was in attendance as a friend who is picking her up after the surgery. I remember the nurse explaining all that Rose had read just to be sure she understood every details, the likely problems that one could experience the available post-op care.
Thankfully, all went well. It has been two years now, Rose believed she made the right decision.
Rose would probably had different attitude towards sterilisation if it was forced on her. She lives in the UK however, women in any remote part of the world are not so different, give them enough information and a few available options to achieve the same goal, more often than not, they’d oblige.
The Kenyan woman would have perhaps done her sterilisation willingly if she knew it is all for her benefit. “I wasn’t part of the discussion.” She says.