Objective: To examine the socio-demographic and reproductive characteristics of vasectomy acceptors and surgical features of vasectomy in Ghana.
Methods: Retrospective review of 271 vasectomies performed between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2009 in three healthcare facilities.
Results: Less than 0.5% of family planning clients opt for vasectomy in Ghana; acceptors are both professional and semi-skilled workers. The mean age of vasectomy acceptors was 40.7 years, and their mean number of children four. All clients had two children or more; there was a trend towards a greater number of children with increasing age (p trend <0.001) or a lower educational level of the clients (p trend =0.01). Most clients obtained their information on vasectomy through the media and healthcare workers. Nearly all vasectomies were performed under local anaesthesia using the no-scalpel technique. The operating time of gynaecologists was significantly shorter than that of urologists (median operating time 10 minutes vs. 25 minutes; p <0.001). The reported vasectomy failure rate was about 1%.
Conclusions: The prevalence of vasectomy is low in Ghana. The factors influencing utilisation of male sterilisation services must be identified in order to improve uptake of this method of contraception in the country.