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Have you or your partner ever considered a vasectomy?

Read time: 2 mins

It’s not a procedure we talk about readily in Ireland, but did you know that more than a quarter of Irish men consider having a vasectomy at some stage in their life? What’s more, according to research carried out by Irish Life Health, eight per cent of Irish men have already had the procedure.

The typical age for vasectomy here, according to the research, is 40 and it’s usually men who have at least two children already who choose to get the procedure.

Boy hugging his father

Why choose to have a Vasectomy?

So why would you choose to have a vasectomy?

A total of 33 per cent of men who would consider it do not want to have more children. A further 22 per cent would prefer not to worry about contraception. And 13 per cent wish to alleviate their partner of the contraceptive burden.

A vasectomy is a relatively easy and fast procedure with short recovery time, and following the procedure, there’s just a one in 3,000 chance of a woman becoming pregnant.

However, research shows that 67 per cent of men have fears and or worries around getting a vasectomy.

Man consulting with his doctor

Fears around having a vasectomy

A total of 22 per cent cited wanting children in the future as a reason not to have one. And 21 per cent believe it’s too permanent. A further 19 per cent of men in Ireland think it would negatively impact on their sex lives.

But, according to Dr Philip Kieran of the RTÉ One series ‘You Should Really See A Doctor’, these fears are unfounded.

“It’s not surprising that most (67 per cent of) Irish men fear getting a vasectomy,” he says. “I believe that’s because there’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about what the procedure entails.”

A family walking along the beach.

A Quick and Easy Procedure

He says it’s a minor surgical procedure that can be carried out quickly and causes a minimum amount of discomfort.

“Vasectomies simply involve sealing the tubes that carry the sperm from men’s testicles to their penis,” explains Dr Philip. “The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Following the operation men are still able to ejaculate, but the semen no longer contains any sperm.”

The Irish Life Health research also found a general lack of awareness amongst men in Ireland about the procedure, which may explain the low uptake here.

Irish Life Health members can now claim up to €360 back on a vasectomy procedure, on a number of plans.

For more information about the vasectomy benefits across Irish Life Health plans visit: www.irishlifehealth.ie/vasectomy 

Research quoted