Surgical Sterilizations in Decline; Vasectomy More Popular than Tubal Ligation

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE’S
2017 SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS & EXPO

Embargoed for Release: 12:01 am CDT Tuesday, October 31, 2017 

Note: Press room open Sun. October 29th, 2pm-5pm CDT; Mon. October30 -Weds. November 1, 8:00am-5:30pm CDT. 210-582-7029

San Antonio, TX-  While vasectomy is twice as common as tubal ligation among the US population covered by private, employer-based health insurance, surgical contraceptive procedures are in decline. At the Scientific Congress and Expo of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine today, in San Antonio, Texas, a team of researchers from Emory University and its School of Medicine presented their findings on demographic, geographic, and clinical trends in the use of surgical sterilization in the US. 

Using diagnosis and procedure codes, the team queried the Marketscan Commercial Claims database to identify individuals having vasectomies and tubal ligations between 2009 and 2015. The database contains records of patients who have private health insurance provided by their employers and includes 460,372 men who had vasectomies and 245,119 women who had tubal ligation during the study period. Statistical tests were used to identify trends in the annual data, such as:

  • The average age of both vasectomy and tubal ligation patients at the time of surgery was 37.
  • The majority of surgical sterilizations were performed in metropolitan areas and most were done on the primary policy holder.
  • Laparoscopic surgery was the most popular technique for tubal ligation, used in almost 50% of procedures.
  • Only 3.3% of tubal ligations were done in conjunction with another surgery- this included C-section.
  • Numbers of vasectomies and tubal ligation procedures declined precipitously over the study period, vasectomies falling from 77,818 to 37,917 and tubal ligations went from 41,964 to 15,872.

Society of Reproductive Surgeons President Ceana Nezhat, MD remarked, “Whether its decline is due to the development and popularity of safe- and reversible- IUDs or just a demographic dip, we should remind our patients that surgical sterilization remains one of the most effective forms of birth control.”

O-164   Khan et al,” SURGICAL STERILIZATION USE IN A CONTEMPORARY COHORT OF U.S. MEN AND WOMEN”

 

ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. The Society is committed to facilitating and sponsoring educational activities for the lay public and continuing medical education activities for professionals who are engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine. www.asrm.org


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