Vasectomy demographics and postvasectomy desire for future children: results from a contemporary national survey

Fertil Steril. 2013 Jun;99(7):1880-5. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.02.032. Epub 2013 Mar 29.


Objective: To describe the longitudinal demographics and family planning attitudes of vasectomized men with the use of the National Survey for Family Growth (NSFG).

Design: Retrospective cohort analysis of the NSFG with the use of national projections and multivariable regressions.

Setting: In-home survey.

Patient(s): The NSFG sampled 10,403 men aged 15-45 years from 2006 to 2010 regarding family planning attitudes.

Intervention(s): None.

Main outcome measure(s): Vasectomy and desire for children.

Result(s): There were 3,646,339 (6.6%) vasectomized men aged 18-45 years in the U.S. On multivariable regression the following factors increased the odds of having a vasectomy: currently married (odds ratio [OR] 7.814), previously married (OR 5.865), and increased age (OR 1.122) and income (OR 1.003). The odds of having a vasectomy increased with number of children. The following factors decreased the odds of having a vasectomy: immigrant status (OR 0.186), African American (OR 0.226), Hispanic (OR 0.543), Catholic (OR 0.549), and other non-Protestant religion (OR 0.109). Surprisingly, an estimated 714,682 (19.6%) vasectomized men in the U.S. desire future children. Men practicing a religion (OR 8.575-15.843) were more likely than atheists to desire children after vasectomy. 71,886 (2.0%) vasectomized men reported having a vasectomy reversal.

Conclusion(s): This study highlights the importance of preoperative counseling for permanency of vasectomy and reveals an opportunity to counsel couples about vasectomy versus tubal ligation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Choice Behavior
  • Counseling
  • Family Characteristics
  • Family Planning Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Marital Status / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Vasectomy / adverse effects
  • Vasectomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vasovasostomy / adverse effects
  • Vasovasostomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult