Vasectomy, a contraceptive choice that has long been marginal among French men, is increasingly practiced, shows a study published Monday by health authorities, even if Europe remains far from other countries such as the United States.
“More and more French men are using this definitive contraception“, summarize the authors of the study carried out jointly by Health Insurance and the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM).
An operation authorized since 2001
Vasectomy is a form of sterilization. It consists of blocking the spermatozoa, via ligation of the ducts which transport them from the testicles. It is considered definitive contraception. Although it is sometimes possible to reverse the effects of a vasectomy, we cannot know in advance whether it will be irreversible or not. In Europe, where it has been authorized since 2001, vasectomy has long remained extremely rare, unlike countries like the United States or South Korea where it has become commonplace among other methods of contraception. However, according to data published Monday, this choice has become a little less marginal among the French over the last decade.
The number of vasectomies has increased every year
“The number of vasectomies has increased every year since 2010, from 1,940 vasectomies in 2010 to 30,288 in 2022, a fifteen-fold increase.“, indicate the authors of the study, supervised by epidemiologist Mahmoud Zureik.
There are now more men than women choosing a form of sterilization. The authors of the study see this in part as the consequence of the affair of Essure implants, commonly used in Europe as a method of female sterilization before being withdrawn from the market at the end of the 2010s due to adverse effects. However, although vasectomies are on the rise, they start from so low that their frequency remains low: around 0.15% of the men concerned – or, according to the study, adults under 70 – have made this choice. in 2022.
Even if “Europe seems to be gradually catching up (…), the levels still remain lower than those of the leading countries in terms of definitive contraception“, concludes the study.