Rediscovering Vasectomy in the Post-Roe V. Wade Era
For the last 40 years, since Roe V. Wade, abortions have been a federally protected, constitutional right. But in June 2022 the Supreme Court ruled that there is nothing in the US Constitution that addresses abortion and handed the abortion issue to individual states to decide on its legality. And this has sent shock waves throughout the country.
Currently, 16 states (and the District of Columbia) have laws to protect the “right” to abortion which means things are unlikely to change there. But, in another 26 states, new restrictions will likely be placed on abortion. In the remaining states, new legislation from both political sides is imminent and will determine the fate of abortion rights in those states.
As a result, for the first time in two generations, many Americans are frankly concerned about their rights and access to reproductive health care. And for many this dramatically changes the equation when it comes to “rolling the dice” with contraception.
A Tipping Point
Not surprisingly, my colleagues and I all over America are doing more vasectomies now than ever. This could be viewed as a good thing as men have increasingly wanted to control their reproductive lives and, with the chips now down, they are stepping up to the plate. But it’s also true that more childless men than ever were getting vasectomies well before the latest Supreme Court ruling. In fact, we saw a fourfold increase over the last two decades. So, maybe the reversal of Roe V. Wade represents a new tipping point for many other men considering vasectomies in America. Time will tell if this fabulous contraceptive sees the limelight like never before.
In my view, it’s about time that this ole’ reliable birth control method gains the true value it has in the compendium of contraception. Here are five reasons why:
- Nothing beats it for effectiveness. It’s the single best contraceptive ever developed. At least in my hands, it has never failed in 3000 cases.
- It requires zero compliance to work effectively. Forgetting the condom or the spermicide, losing track of birth control pills, or not pulling out every time can have enormous consequences. With vasectomy: aim and shoot, as carefree and footloose as you like.
- It doesn’t alter the erection, ejaculation, or sex drive. In fact, most men feel sexually liberated by the lack of pregnancy worry.
- It takes 8-12 minutes to do and can now be nitrous oxide-powered to make it far more comfortable. Imagine laughing your balls off during a vasectomy.
- It is reversible. I’ve been quoted as saying that “the vasectomy is the new condom” because the procedure is fantastically reversible. In my hands, the percentage of vasectomies performed within the past 15 years that are reversible is somewhere in the high 90s: a great statistic by any measure!
The humble but high performing vasectomy has been skating under the radar for almost 200 years just waiting to be rediscovered and newly respected in the pantheon of contraception. This could be its moment in the limelight, and I am all for it!