Vasectomies still rare but on the rise in France: Study

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Fifteen times more French men are choosing sterilization to avoid getting their partner pregnant than a decade ago, a study said Monday, even if those undergoing the operation are still a tiny minority.

The hormonal pill for women remains the top form of contraception in France, but more men are now seeking a surgical procedure to cut or seal the tubes carrying their sperm.

“The number of vasectomies increased… from 1,940 in 2010 to 30,288 in 2022,” the study by the national health care provider and National Agency for the Safety of Medicine (ANSM) said.

Ronan Lerigoleur, a teacher, was among those who signed up for the operation in 2020.

“I was 39, and I thought: ‘I’ve had two children, do I want another one? Nope,” he told AFP.

“My wife was having a hard time with the pill,” he said, referring to the female contraceptive which can have unwanted side effects.

“For me it was a simple operation to fix it… That way she doesn’t have to stuff herself with hormones,” he said.

Demographer Mireille Le Guen said the increase in vasectomies could be in part linked to the operation being a lot simpler than it used to be.

Nowadays, men wishing to have the procedure can be in and out of the hospital in a day, and awareness campaigns have sought to dispel myths that it is akin to castration or affects the libido.

Feminists have also called for men to share in the mental load of contraception.

But even with the increase, still only 0.15 percent of French men under the age of 70 had vasectomies in 2022, Le Guen warned.

Demand for vasectomies has soared in the United States in recent years, especially after the Supreme Court scrapped the federal right to abortion in 2022.

© 2024 AFP

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