Rwanda Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences

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Vasectomy is family planning: factors affecting uptake among men in eastern province of Rwanda

Christian Ntakirutimana, Providence Umuziga, Bellancille Nikuze, Rebecca White, Pamela Meharry, Oluyinka Adejumo


Background: Vasectomy is the only permanent method of male contraception. It is safer, cheaper, and easier to provide than female sterilisation. Men typically take a vocal role as decision-makers in Africa, yet it is women who take family planning (FP) action.

Objective: To assess the knowledge and attitude of men toward vasectomy as a method of FP in the Eastern Province of Rwanda.

Methods: A cross-sectional design, and systematic sampling of every other household was used in a selected area. The sample size was 390 men and a valid questionnaire was used to collect data. Data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results: Sociodemographic characteristics affecting vasectomy included education (p < 0.001), religion (p < 0.001), and the number of sexual partners (p = 0.018). Knowledge scores ranged from 58.4% to 82.6%. Many participants agreed that men should take part in FP (78.7%), and use vasectomy as an FP method (77.2%).

Conclusion: Men scored over 50% on vasectomy knowledge items, though many erroneously believed misconceptions. Misinformation is a barrier to vasectomy uptake, and greater awareness of vasectomy knowledge is needed to change attitudes and increase acceptance. Rwandan families and communities could greatly benefit from men’s active role in family planning.

Keywords: Vasectomy, family planning, contraception, men, sub-Sahara Africa

AJOL African Journals Online