Background: Vasectomy is well accepted in some countries, but uncommonly used in others. The failure of family planning programmes may be the result of men failing to play a role in contraception. This study was carried out to determine the attitudes of women and men regarding male and female sterilisation.
Study design: Women of reproductive age (17-35 years old; n = 1211) and their husbands (n = 1174) were enrolled in this study. Information was collected from the participants via face-to-face interviews using a questionnaire.
Results: In our study, 61.4% of women would agree to their husbands' undergoing a vasectomy but only 3.7% of husbands agreed to it. Most (92.7%) men said they would agree to their wives' undergoing a sterilisation and 83.1% of women would agree to tubal occlusion. Only 2% knew anyone who had been sterilised. Nearly a fifth of women thought vasectomy could lead to impotence.
Conclusion: The prejudices against vasectomy are probably due to misinformation. Female sterilisation, however, is widely accepted by both participants. Family planning programmes organised equally for women and men, supported also by mass media could improve access to convenient and effective contraception.