The number of men having vasectomies increased by 26% between 2014 and 2021, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Chicago.
The researchers – who said the results reflected a “remarkable surge” – decided to look into the matter following the Supreme Court’s ruling. Dobbs decision to see if the anticipation of abortion restrictions has increased interest in vasectomies in previous years. Vasectomies are a form of male birth control that “cuts off the supply of sperm to semen,” according to the Mayo Clinic. The procedure is done by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry the sperm. Vasectomies are considered permanent, but vasectomy reversals are sometimes possible.
The researchers used data from commercial health insurance claims to calculate the annual vasectomy rate among American men aged 18 to 64. The study found that the percentage of all male patients undergoing the procedure in any given year increased from 0.427 percent in 2014 to 0.537 percent in 2021, an increase of 26 percent.
Interestingly, the study found that the relative increases were greater among men without children (61%), men with older wives (41%), single men (41%) and younger men aged 18 to 24 (37%).
Absolute changes were largest among men with three or more children (0.489 percent), with two children (0.295 percent), with a wife of younger maternal age (0.276 percent) and among those aged 35 to 44 years (0.243 percent). Absolute and relative changes were greater in rural areas than in urban areas, according to the study.
The authors noted that the absolute numbers among the general population remain low, with about 4 percent of men reporting having been sterilized.
The researchers said they intend to investigate afterDobbs trends as soon as data becomes available.
“Analysis of Google Trends, the media, and retrospective reviews of university hospital billing and electronic medical records suggested even greater interest in vasectomies after the law was overturned. Roe v. Wadewrote the study authors.
Abortion giant Planned Parenthood said in October 2022 that it saw a 53% increase in searches for vasectomy information on its national webpage. Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country also said they’ve seen an increase in appeals about the process since the Supreme Court returned the abortion issue to states and their elected officials. The abortion giant offers the procedure in many states across the country, sometimes employing “mobile vasectomy clinics” or offering the procedure for free to uninsured men.
Google Trends data also shows renewed interest in vasectomies after the Dobbs decision last June, although the number of search results has since stabilized.
“Although 2022 survey and health insurance claims data are not yet available to directly study this relationship, our results provide valuable context on men’s ongoing contraceptive use in the years leading up to historic decision,” said Dr. Omer Raheem, assistant professor. of surgery-urology and lead author of the study.
Dr. Monica Dragoman, system director in the Complex Family Planning Division of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, told UPI that research shows that some men “step up” and “take more responsibility for preventing unwanted pregnancies.”
“The reasons are deeply personal and multifactorial, but motivations can include concerns for their partner and fear of having children they don’t want,” Dragoman said.
Dragoman warned that men should think long and hard about the procedure before implementing it, as they may not be able to “count on an easy reversal” if they change their minds.
“After a vasectomy, a successful pregnancy after a reversal is a possibility. However, this probability decreases over time and there is no guarantee of pregnancy,” Dragoman said. “People who are considering a vasectomy with the idea that they will reverse when they are ready to have a child are probably not the right candidates for this procedure.”
The study, titled “Trends in vasectomy rate among privately insured men aged 18 to 64 in the United States between 2014 and 2021,” was published in Urology in June 2023. The co-authors of the study include Zhong Huang and Max J. Hyman.
Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter @thekat_hamilton.