London, Dec 20 (ANI): Women are these days opting for secret 'lunch hour breaks', where instead of the usual lunch, they get themselves sterilization appointments.
A private clinic claims it is the first in the country to offer a "walk in - walk out" ten minute procedure which permanently renders a woman infertile, without leaving any scars.
"Women can elect to have the quick and painless procedure when it suits them - and their partner won't be able to tell," the Telegraph quoted Cadogan Clinic in Knightsbridge as saying in a promotional ad.
Consultant gynaecologist Martin Farrugia, who works for the clinic, said it was a solution for those who didn't want to tell their partners that they did not want any children, or that they felt their family was complete. Others lived "complicated lives" with multiple lovers, which meant they did not want to risk becoming pregnant.
"There are many reasons why a woman might choose to have this treatment here; privacy is certainly one of the advantages of the procedure - there are no scars, so women can take control over the decision," he said.
The operation, called Essure, involves inserting two tiny metal coils through the vagina with the aid of a hysteroscope into both Fallopian tubes. In three months, the tissue around it grows, blocking the tubes entirely. Essure takes ten minutes, involves no incision or stitches, and requires just 45 minutes recovery, so women can go straight back to work, after having the 2,700 pounds operation in their lunch hour, the clinic says.
However, medical experts have criticized the sales pitch being used, which they said was a "cynical" attempt to encourage secrecy in relationships.
"This seems really sad - it looks like a worrying and cynical attempt to trade on dishonesty and deceit. Of course women have to be able to control their fertility, but in a relationship people need to be able to have conversations about this kind of thing - taking a step like this behind a partner's back is so dysfunctional, and if women are doing it just so they can sleep around, they are leaving their partner at all sorts of risks.
Ethically, this is a huge can of worms," said Dr Allan Pacey, a fertility lecturer at the University of Sheffield.
Ann Furedi, chief executive of British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: "I do think this is pretty cynical. It's really important when women are making a decision like this that it is very carefully considered - for most of them that means a conversation and coming to a shared view with their partner. I can understand why some women might not want to discuss this but I would be very cautious of promoting that as a specific benefit of any treatment."
Farrugia said, "A woman can have the treatment, and return to normal activity straight away, she can even go straight back to work."
He said the operation was also safer than standard procedures, as it does not require a general anaesthetic. (ANI)