This year is the 10th anniversary of World Vasectomy Day, a global event created to raise the awareness of vasectomy surgeries, fight the stigma around the procedure, and ultimately outline what it may mean for future family planning. To mark the occasion, we would like to take this opportunity to further highlight key details about the vasectomy procedure and summarise the support and guidance on offer at Provide Wellbeing.
What is World Vasectomy Day?
World Vasectomy Day is a global event created to raise awareness of vasectomies and male family planning. The team behind World Vasectomy Day have helped over 100,000 men in 24 countries to get a safe vasectomy. The annual celebrations include a global 24-hour livestream discussing vasectomy procedures and the options available for men or couples considering a vasectomy as a choice of contraception.
Why was it founded?
Co-founders, Jonathan Stack and Doug Stein, founded World Vasectomy Day to enable more men to be involved in the family planning process, and to be further educated about the contraceptive option. Men have an equal responsibility when it comes to contraception, but much of the pressure remains on women. World Vasectomy Day was therefore established with an aim of reducing the stigma around the procedure and to enable more men to make an informed but important decision.
What is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a male sterilisation procedure to cut or seal the tubes that carry sperm to prevent unwanted pregnancies. There are two types of vasectomies: No-Scalpel Vasectomy, which we offer at Provide Wellbeing, and Conventional Vasectomy.
No-Scalpel Vasectomy is a simple procedure in which a doctor will use a specialist instrument to make a tiny hole in the skin of the scrotum and seal the vas deferens tubes (the tubes that carry the sperm).
Why do men choose to get a vasectomy?
There are two main reasons why men are choosing to get a vasectomy
- To prevent unwanted pregnancies and to reduce pressure on a female partner
Vasectomies are a highly effective form of contraception and prove to be more effective than the contraceptive pill which is frequently offered to women. Couples who plan on not having children are more commonly choosing to get a vasectomy to lower their chances of an unwanted pregnancy. This option also removes the pressure so often placed on women, and alleviates the potential for the contraceptive pill, or other contraceptive route, to have a detrimental effect on the woman’s mental and physical health.
- To help save the planet
Earlier this year, The Guardian posted an article stating that there has been an increase in the number of men choosing to get a vasectomy for reasons relating to climate change. It stated that the ‘single most effective action an individual could take in terms of helping the planet was having one fewer child’. After several scientists have predicted the damaging future condition of our planet, some men do not want to ‘offset our carbon problem onto the next generation, because it’s not fair on them’.
Things to consider before you get a vasectomy
- Be certain that you, or you and your partner, have no desire to have any children or anymore children
- Vasectomies are safe and effective with a short recovery time
- It does not affect your sexual functioning
- Sterilisation can take up to 16 weeks to occur, it is not instant
- A vasectomy is permanent unless you choose to reverse the procedure.
According to the NHS; ‘if a reversal is carried out within 10 years of a vasectomy, the success rate is about 55%. This falls to 25% if your reversal is carried out more than 10 years after.’
Why are Provide Wellbeing supporting World Vasectomy Day?
The rate of vasectomies in the UK has drastically fallen over the last 10 years, especially recently with only 4,486 vasectomies performed in 2020-2021 compared to between 11,000 and 12,000 performed in 2019-2020. At Provide Wellbeing, we support the important message that the World Vasectomy Day team are advocating and would like to aid them in breaking common misconceptions surrounding the procedure and encourage more open conversations between men and families. Vasectomies are a quick and easy procedure, with the entire appointment for a No-Scalpel Vasectomy procedure taking less than 1 hour.
After abstinence, vasectomies are the most effective form of birth control, but the option is still not considered enough when it comes to contraceptive methods. Vasectomies are 99% effective with only 1-2 out of 1,000 women falling pregnant within a year of their partner having a vasectomy, compared to 1 in 100 women who are on the contraceptive pill.
Paul Cooke, Managing Director at Provide Wellbeing said, “The effectiveness of vasectomies is not discussed often enough when it comes to deciding upon a contraceptive method. At Provide Wellbeing we wish to raise the awareness of the procedure and help to break down the stigma around male family planning. Our simple no-scalpel vasectomy procedure takes less than 1 hour but can last a lifetime.”