Clip Me Doc

CNN is running an article about how many younger guys are undergoing vasectomies. As it happens many of the boys have recently done this or are considering having it done. But not me, this old boy is not going to let anyone come anywhere close to that area with a knife.

When I die (at 265 years old) I’ll still have the ability to send out the swimmers. Call me superstitious, but once you do that you are just never the same guy.

Anyway, the article doesn’t focus on men who don’t want to have more children but on men who don’t want any. I don’t see huge advantages in it. You still have the concerns about STDs to address and it is hard to say that what you want at 25 will remain the same as you age.

“According to the National Institutes of Health, by 2006 one in six U.S. men over age 35 has had a vasectomy, with about half a million getting snipped each year. And while men in their late 30s or 40s are often the ones who opt for the surgery, Dr. Dale McClure, director of Male Infertility at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, says he sees “a fair number of people under 35” who have undergone the procedure.

“I’m actually seeing more people than I have in the past that are younger that had a vasectomy at age 21 or 22,” says McClure.

That doesn’t mean doctors are doling out vasectomies like condoms at a free health linic.”I jokingly tell patients it’s like buying a gun in Chicago,” says Dr. Lawrence Ross, professor of urology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “You can go look at the gun but you can’t buy it right away.”

That’s because, Ross says, “there’s no 100 percent guarantee in any case that we can reverse it.” Within 10 years of having a vasectomy, there’s a 90 to 95 percent success rate for reversal surgery. Beyond that, the success rate drops to 75 to 80 percent.

Given those stats, it’s best to consider a vasectomy “a permanent form of sterilization,” Ross says. “I will always tell young men that in my 38 years of practice, I’ve seen many men change their minds.”

Second — and third — thoughts

McClure says he spends most of his time “putting vasectomies back together,” performing more than 2,000 reversals since 1975.

“Over the last several years, it appears that more males under the age of 25 who’ve never had children and who had a vasectomy are coming in [for a reversal] because they’ve found a new partner and they want to have children,” says McClure.”

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