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Characteristics of Men Receiving Vasectomies in the United States, 1998-1999

Mark A. Barone, Christopher H. Johnson, Melanie A. Luick, Daria L. Teutonico and Robert J. Magnani
Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Vol. 36, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 2004), pp. 27-33
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3181213
Page Count: 7
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Characteristics of Men Receiving Vasectomies in the United States, 1998-1999
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Abstract

Context: Even though vasectomy is a popular method of contraception in the United States, there is limited information on the characteristics of men choosing vasectomy and why they decide to undergo the procedure. Methods: A nationwide, practice-based survey of 719 men receiving vasectomies was conducted between July 1998 and June 1999. Results: Low-income, minority and less educated men were underrepresented among vasectomy recipients. The majority of men were married or cohabiting (91%), non-Hispanic and white (87%), and educated beyond high school (81%). Only 7% of men had annual household incomes of less than $25,000, and fewer than 1% paid for the procedure using public funding; 81% of respondents paid through private insurance or a health maintenance organization. Half of men reported choosing vasectomy over a reversible method because it is the most secure means of preventing pregnancy, and 62% chose vasectomy over tubal ligation because the procedure is simpler and safer. Doctors and nurses were the most important sources of information about vasectomy (cited by 31% of respondents), followed by wives or partners (25%) and friends (23%). Conclusions: Despite the diversity of the U.S. population, vasectomy recipients are a homogeneous group. By identifying users of vasectomy and underserved groups, our findings should assist service providers and program managers in planning strategies to reduce the large difference in levels of vasectomy use among men of different races, ethnicities and income groups.

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