A record number of men in their twenties are choosing to go under the knife to have more control over family planning and have unprotected sex.
A study published in the journal Urology analyzed commercial health insurance claims data between 2014 and 2021 to estimate the annual vasectomy rate in men ages 18 to 64.
Researchers at the University of Chicago found that the rate of vasectomies in the United States increased 26 percent over seven years.
They found that the number of young men aged 18 to 24 who opted for the procedure increased by 37 percent, while the increase was greatest among childless men: 61 percent received a vasectomy.
They found that overall, the number of men undergoing vasectomies across the country of all ages remained low, at four percent.
But anecdotally, doctors are seeing an uptick. Dr. David Shusterman is a urologist and founder of NY Urology, a medical practice specializing in urology, the area of medicine that focuses on the reproductive organs.
He told DailyMail.com that while vasectomies have always been more popular among middle-aged men who already have children, The number of men in their 20s coming to his clinic for a vasectomy has “doubled” in the last decade.
The map above shows the proportion of men who have had a vasectomy by state. The figures are for men aged 18 to 64 and from 2021, the latest available. A vasectomy is a surgical procedure to sterilize a man in which the tube that carries sperm from the testicles is cut in half and sealed.
Many men choose vasectomies to have “control” over when to have children, doctors say, and because they want to have sex without using a condom (File Image)
A vasectomy, which can cost $1,000, is a surgical procedure to sterilize a man in which the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the outside of the body, are cut in half and stitched closed.
A man who undergoes the operation can still ejaculate, but the ejaculate will no longer contain sperm, which is necessary to get someone pregnant.
The vasectomy is performed while patients are awake and under local anesthesia, making sure they feel no pain during the 30-minute operation.
Afterwards, patients may feel discomfort in the scrotum and genital area for up to two weeks, doctors say.
Data from the University of Chicago suggests that by 2021, more than 150,000 men between the ages of 20 and 30 have undergone a vasectomy, a surgical procedure in which the tube that carries sperm from the testicles is cut.
This is an increase of more than 20,000 men in this age group compared to 2014.
From 2014 to 2021, the proportion of men aged 25 to 34 who underwent a vasectomy increased by 14 percent, while among those aged 18 to 24 it increased by 37 percent.
Dr. Shusterman said he now sees five to six men in their 20s for vasectomies each year. In 2014, this figure ranged between one and two.
When asked why the procedure is on the rise, Dr. Shusterman said, “(The) number one reason is that men want to have control over when they reproduce.
‘Number two, is the fact that they prefer to have sex without a condom than with a condom.
‘And number three, there is less fear (of sexually transmitted diseases), because there are many effective treatments to cure them. So a lot more people are starting to realize that they can have unprotected sex quite safely.’
She also suspects that fear of unwanted pregnancies has increased following the reversal of Roe v Wade, which overturned abortion protections in the United States.
Estimates suggest that only a third of American men use condoms, but STD infections have set new records for eight consecutive years.
However, there are suggestions that men are being misled about the safety and possibility of reversing the procedure.
They fear this means men who undergo the operation to delay starting a family may never be able to do so.
While it is possible to reverse a vasectomy, it becomes more difficult the more time has passed since the procedure, and is nearly impossible 10 years later.
The graph above shows how a record number of men between the ages of 18 and 64 are now undergoing vasectomies.
Dr. David Shusterman, a New York City urologist, told DailyMail.com that he now sees five to six men in their 20s for vasectomies each year.
This is because the tube that carries sperm can develop scar tissue, completely blocking sperm flow.
There is also a risk that the immune system will begin to attack the sperm in the testicles because they no longer ejaculate, making the man infertile.
About 30 to 90 percent of vasectomy reversals are successful, according to the Mayo Clinic, depending on how much time has passed since the vasectomy was performed.
And men are warned that vasectomies are not immediate solutions and may have to wait two to four months before their ejaculate no longer contains sperm.
Keith Laue, a TikToker from Texas, revealed that he had a vasectomy at the age of 23 after deciding he didn’t want to have any more children.
This is because after the operation there may still be sperm in the vas deferens that could mix with ejaculate.
Men who undergo vasectomies are asked to return to clinics two to four months after the procedure to have their semen analyzed to ensure that the procedure was a success.
Younger men are not only going under the knife, but they are also speaking publicly about their decision.
Texas-based influencer Keith Laue revealed that he had the procedure performed when he was 23 years old.
He and his partner Taylor Ribar decided he should have one after having their first child and agreed they didn’t want any more.
They said a driving factor was the risk of restrictions on abortions, which led the couple to take action.
Mr. Laue said Health.com: ‘Now I don’t really have any anxiety about having a healthy sex life, and that’s a really nice feeling.
‘There is a mentality here in Texas that if you don’t want to get pregnant, you shouldn’t have sex. It’s crazy to ask people to live like this.