There are less than 1% South African men between 15 to 49 who have had vasectomies, and in episode 34 of Sisters Without Shame, one of these men shares his own experience.
Phetolo Jag Fakude (29) is an attorney based in Johannesburg. After careful consideration of the idea of becoming a father, he decided to get a vasectomy because having a child does not align with his future plans.
“Having nieces and nephews never sparked the feeling of wanting to have a child in my life. My picture of a full family does not include marriage and kids, mine is a simple one of three or two cats and myself,” he says.
Knowing that the desire to have children and a wife was not there, propelled him to start asking around about the best way to prevent having children. He overheard a guy at a club talking about how he doesn’t have children and never would have.
“I asked what he meant, and he shared that he had a vasectomy. He further explained what it was, and I was hooked immediately.
“In 2015, when I was trying to find out where this procedure was carried out, I discovered that in Nelspruit there were no facilities that performed it at an affordable rate. It was expensive. I finally found a place that was within reach and affordable, I saved up and went for it.”
What is a vasectomy?
Vasectomy is described as a surgical procedure for male permanent contraception. In this procedure, the vas deference it cut and tied or sealed to prevent sperm from entering the urethra, which then prevents female fertilisation during sexual intercourse.
Fakude believes that the majority of men associate vasectomy with castration, which he says is not what it is. “It is merely a procedure through which the sperm is prevented from leaving your body.”
There are different ways to perform the procedure and they vary according to prices and the way they are carried out.
“I did one which was under very low anaesthesia, where there was an insertion made between the two testicles. The vas deferens are grabbed, pulled out, snipped, and inserted again,” Fakude explains.
“I was in a procedure that was under low anaesthesia. It began with needles into the scrotum to numb the scrotum of any pain. Obviously, there would be little pain for the initial needle work, but after that there is very minimal pain.
“The vas deferens in this procedure is not numbed, so I felt a very sharp pain that passed very quickly. The pain of the snipping of the vas deferens is merely just a 5/6 seconds long feeling. Then after the first snip, you anticipate the next one, which caused a lot of anxiety in me.”
What is at stake?
Fakude strongly believes that none of the effort will go to waste. “This pain is just minimal compared to the many reasons for doing it. It is minimal compared to childbirth, hormonal imbalances that you will go through due to medication. And besides, the healing process is relatively fast, in less than a week I was already up and kicking,” he concludes.
Listen to the full interview on Sisters Without Shame
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