Do Sons drive Vasectomy Decisions?

Man as young as 18 and as old as 70 have presented in my office asking about vasectomy. Although the most common age ranges from the mid thirties to early forties. Many factors can prompt the decision for a man to come in for consultation. Reasons include a difficult labor or complicated pregnancy for the wife, a change in financial situation or an “oops”. Some of these factors are intuitive. A recent publication in Uroloby (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27919667) brings in one more surprising factor that can enter into the decision: the number of sons a parent has. 

The study was accomplished using data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health study. Results show: Vasectomized fathers have a higher proportion of sons compared to non-vasectomized fathers. This suggests that the number of sons a man has is directly correlated with his decision to pursue vasectomy. Furthermore, fathers with only daughters are less likely to pursue vasectomy. From the results: For men with at least two children, each additional son increased the likelihood of vasectomy by 4% (p<0.01), while each additional daughter led to a 2% decrease in vasectomy utilization (p=0.03).

This surprising information sheds a new light on the decision making process couples use to make their decision to come in for consultation. With that said, although I would not be surprised if the findings of this study correlate with my own patients, I have, in fact, done a number of vasectomies on men with only daughters.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Can You Prevent Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are common — and painful. Once you have one kidney stone, your risk of developing more increases. The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to lower your risk of kidney stone formation. Get our prevention tips here.

Recovering From a Vasectomy Reversal

Regretting your vasectomy? A vasectomy reversal could be the solution you’re seeking. It’s an outpatient procedure that can be up to 90% effective. Find out more about it and what to expect during recovery.

What Every Man Should Know About His Prostate

The prostate is a small gland in the male reproductive system. From how it functions to the importance of regular prostate screenings, find out what you need to know about your prostate health here.

A Closer Look at Testosterone

Testosterone is an important male hormone. It influences functions from sex drive and fertility to body weight and mood — but low testosterone is a common problem for many men. Learn the signs of low testosterone and what you can do about it.

The Importance of Prostate Cancer Screenings

Prostate cancer is common, especially among men over age 50. Early stage cancer is the most treatable, but without early symptoms, how is prostate cancer identified? Learn about the importance of regular prostate cancer screenings.

What to Expect From a Vasectomy Reversal

A vasectomy is considered a permanent method of male birth control. But if you’ve had a vasectomy, does that mean you can’t ever father a child? If your family planning goals have changed, vasectomy reversal could be right for you.