Contraception: the number of vasectomies multiplied by 15 in 12 years in France

Vasectomy is now more common than tubal ligation. This form of sterilization, which involves ligating the ducts that carry sperm to the s, has grown exponentially in popularity over the past decade.

The number of vasectomies performed each year increased 15-fold between 2010 and 2022, calculates a joint report from Health Insurance and the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM). 30,292 men used this “quick procedure often requiring only local anesthesia” in 2022, or 149.5 men per 100,000 aged 18 to 70. In 2020, this incidence rate was still below 10.

Unprecedented fact: in 2021 and 2022, the number of vasectomies performed was higher than the number of female sterilizations. “In 2022, three male sterilizations were carried out for every two female sterilizations,” the report points out. The number of female sterilizations (tubal ligation or implant) was halved between 2013 and 2022.

Younger and younger

This crossing of curves “is explained not only by the sharp increase in vasectomies in France, but also by a drop in requests for female sterilization, in particular following the cessation of marketing of Essure implants in 2017”. This definitive contraceptive implant was in fact withdrawn from sale at the request of the ANSM after a certain number of patients reported adverse effects, sometimes serious and persistent. At the same time, “if contraceptive methods have diversified for women over more than twenty years, male contraception remain underdeveloped,” underlines the report.

This trend is still quite rare in the rest of the world: in 2019, there were 13 female sterilizations for every 1 male sterilization worldwide. Only 9 countries had a higher prevalence of vasectomy than female sterilization: South Korea, Australia, Bhutan, Spain, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Netherlands, Qatar and Canada.

Another significant development pointed out by the authors of the report: men who have vasectomies are increasingly younger. Over the entire period, the average age decreased by around 3 years, from 44.1 in 2010 to 40.7 in 2022.

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