TUCSON, Ariz.— Nov. 20 is World Vasectomy Day, a global movement to support male engagement in sexual and reproductive health. As human population grows exponentially, crowding out the plants and animals with which we share the planet, the Center for Biological Diversity is throwing support behind this underutilized piece of the family planning puzzle by launching a video interview series called Contraception Conversations.
In the series, three men share their perspectives and experiences with vasectomies.
“Forty-five percent of U.S. pregnancies are unintended,” said Sarah Baillie, a population and sustainability organizer at the Center and conductor of the interviews. “We know it takes two to tango, but contraceptive counseling in the United States rarely involves men. If vasectomies do come up, it’s often on the woman to advocate to her partner. It’s time for more people to educate themselves on this safe and effective form of permanent contraception.”
Studies have shown that the prevalence of tubal ligations is three times higher than that of vasectomies in the United States, even though vasectomies are a far simpler and cheaper procedure.
To debunk some of the stigma and answer common questions about vasectomies, the Center interviewed men who have had a vasectomy or are planning to do so in the future and a urologist who answered commonly asked questions.
“It’s valuable to hear about other people’s experiences with this procedure,” said Brian Patton, one of the men who shared his vasectomy story. “If you don’t know anyone who has had a vasectomy or aren’t comfortable bringing it up, you have no way to get this kind of first-person information.”
There are 7.8 billion people on the planet today. The growing human population affects the health of other species and the planet through agriculture and grazing, fossil fuel use, logging, urban sprawl, climate change and the introduction of invasive species. Voluntary family planning with free and easy access to contraception, including vasectomy, is a rights-based solution to the extinction and climate crises.