EFEBy Genesis Carrero Soto Caracas

Dressed in just a surgical gown, Armando walked along the corridor leading to the operating room at a family planning center in Caracas, emerging sterilized shortly thereafter, like 15 other men, after deciding to ignore the macho stigma that persists in Venezuela for men who get vasectomies.

Armando Leiva traveled 700 kilometers (434 miles) to the capital from Guiria, a northeastern coastal town, to have the procedure performed.

At age 41 and with two teenage children, he made his decision not only because he doesn't want to have any more kids but also because his wife experiences hormonal problems with the contraceptives she has used and he wanted to be part of the solution in terms of their sexual life and health.