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My First Attempt at Getting a Vasectomy Was A Total Disaster

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By Anonymous:

Oh, hey. Before you leave, I wanted to have a word,” I say to the big fella with the curly long hair. “You’re a doctor, right?”

He looks away briefly before meeting my eyes, grimacing into what I imagine is his “not this shit again” face. But he’s a doctor. I’m sure he meets a lot of people that take advantage of his polite demeanor to extract a free consultation in guise of a casual conversation.

Yeah,” he nods reluctantly.

Alright! I wanted to get a vasectomy and I wanted to know if you have someone you could recommend me to,” I burst. I wanted to quickly – very quickly – establish that I didn’t want a diagnosis to an ailment, and rather just a recommendation of a professional. After all, we had been introduced just that very evening.

A look of relief rushes across his face. I guess I’ve set him at ease. “Yes,” he gushes. “Just go to any hospital!

Yes, but which one? I have no idea, na.”

Just go to Ganga Ram,” he says like it was the most obvious thing ever. And that was when I knew I could get one done whenever. I chose to do it soon.

The day before I visit the hospital, I’m sitting nervous in a bean bag, second-guessing myself and my reasons for wanting a vasectomy. My mind frantically searching for a reason not to go. It found none but didn’t give up.

I’ve known I didn’t want any children ever since I was old enough to think about these things. You can reverse a vasectomy with some difficulty, I reason; but a child reversible is not. That and the fact that every time I imagine raising a child of my own, my heartstrings snap at the thought of the littlest of hurts this imaginary child of mine would have to experience. Raising a child outside of the sheltered utopia I’ve imagined in my mind, has always seemed too cruel an endeavor.

I do end up going. I don’t make an appointment. Instead I walk in, reasoning that I wouldn’t like to chicken out on my way there and inconvenience the doctor or their other patients. I’m glad I did because I was redirected four times, shuttled between departments with no one giving me the definitive answer. I would reach the reception area of a department and relive the same conversation

Hi, I want a consultation for a vasectomy.”


Nasbandi ke bare main consultation chahiye thi.”

The first receptionist directs me to a higher floor. At the reception there, I am directed to a department on the ground floor of in the next building. At the first reception I see there I am directed to the end of the corridor. There I am redirected back to the previous building. The uncertainty does no favors for the remnant of last night’s anxiety. I did somehow manage to find the right department but I had two curious interactions in the effort. At one reception the person asked who it was for. When I said it was for me, the fella flashed me a thumb-up and threw in a “It won’t hurt at all.” The next receptionist asked if I was inquiring about tubal ligation. When I had already said I wanted a vasectomy.

The doctor was shocked when I told him I was unmarried and wanted a vasectomy. “What? Why?” “You want to have sex with a girlfriend without condom?” “Have you had sex?” “Do you know semen is not sperm? They are different!

He fires a dozen or so questions at me in quick succession. I’m too tired to explain so I answer with a “It’s a personal choice,” repeatedly. I am not able to put his concerns to rest, however. He tells me to give him a call in the evening, so he has time to confirm that he is legally covered for performing the procedure for me in my ‘condition’ of singledom.

I call him in the evening and he deflates my rising bubble in my heart quick. He tells me that I need to bring my parents next time I visit. They will have to give their consent in addition to me signing a form declaring my consent. He also says I will have to undergo psychiatric evaluation before the procedure can be approved to be performed on me.

I sense he is trying to end the call quick, so I tell him I’ll get my parents, but psych evaluation is a bit excessive. A lot of my friends are of the opinion that the requirement of parental consent is the excessive part, but I disagree. One doesn’t undergo a psych evaluation before having a child, so why before getting a vasectomy?

Yeah, Tariq, it will be very difficult,” he offers and cuts the call.

And that’s the end of that. I’m now wondering if there’s a point going to a second doctor for another consultation.

Ultimately, I think its condemnable how difficult it was for me to find the right person to talk to to begin with. In a culture so ingrained with hyper-masculinity, setting up hurdles to an already taboo procedure, that in real terms has a large net positive effect on the person and their environment, is the wrong way to go. That and the fact that the consent of a person of adult age is valued so little.

It is reprehensible that in our country, even as an adult, one’s parents somehow still have say on what you do with your body and the State is actively helping to reinforce this structure.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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