An increasingly popular method of contraception. Vasectomies, long unheard of among French men, are becoming increasingly common, a study published Monday by health authorities shows. Between 2010 and 2022, “the number of vasectomies increased 15-fold,” write the authors of the study, conducted jointly by Health Insurance and the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM). The number of vasectomies has increased from 1,940 in 2010 to 30,288 in 2022.
A vasectomy is a form of sterilization. It involves blocking sperm by ligating the ducts that lead them out of the testicles. It is considered definitive contraception because although it is sometimes possible to reverse the effects of a vasectomy, we cannot know in advance whether it is irreversible or not.
In France, where it has been legal since 2001, vasectomy has long remained extremely rare, unlike in countries such as the United States or South Korea, where it has become common among other contraceptive methods. However, according to data published this Monday, this choice among the French has become somewhat less marginal over the past decade. Men who have had vasectomies are also “increasingly younger,” with the average age increasing from 44 to 41 between 2010 and 2022. And they “appear to fit the profiles of the most advantaged socioeconomic levels.”
Conversely, “the number of female sterilizations fell by half between 2013 and 2022,” increasing “from 45,138 sterilizations in 2013 to 20,325 in 2022,” the researchers detail. The study authors see this as partly a consequence of the case of Essure implants, which were widely used in France as a method of female sterilization before being withdrawn from the market in the late 2010s due to side effects.
However, although the number of vasectomies is increasing, they are starting from such a low level that their incidence remains low: about 0.15% of interested men – adults under the age of 70 – made this choice in 2022. gradually catching up (…), levels still remain lower than in leading countries in terms of definitive contraception,” the study concludes.