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...

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.

The Signs of Male Infertility

The decision to grow your family is an exciting one. But if you and your partner find out that having a baby isn’t as simple as you thought, it can be frustrating. Learn to recognize the signs of infertility so you can get the treatment you need.

Understanding Testicular Sperm Extraction

Testicular sperm extraction can be a successful fertility treatment for men, whether they’re facing infertility or they previously had a vasectomy. If you’re infertile but you hope to father a child, it’s time to learn more about this microsurgery.

Erectile Dysfunction or Normal Aging?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects millions of men, and it gets increasingly common with age. But is it an unavoidable part of getting older? Learn more about the signs of ED and how treatment could enhance your sex life, no matter your age.