Original Article

Analysis of urban vs. rural vasectomy demographics: a multiinstitutional, retrospective comparison

G. Luke Machen, Erin T. Bird, Parviz K. Kavoussi


Background: Each year in the US, approximately 500,000 men choose to undergo a vasectomy for permanent sterilization. Despite being a very common procedure, studies reporting demographic data and characteristics that motivate men to choose a vasectomy are somewhat limited. With this analysis, the primary objective was to determine if a difference existed between the ages and number of children among men choosing to have a vasectomy at urology practices in urban (Austin, TX = City A, population 947,890) and rural (Temple, TX = City B, population 76,277) settings. A secondary objective was to establish if there was a trend in these variables over time.
Methods: After IRB approval was obtained from each institution, a retrospective chart review was undertaken to identify men who had undergone a vasectomy at each facility from 2011–2017. Demographic data was recorded. Statistical analysis was done using student’s t-test and linear regression.
Results: The mean age at time of vasectomy in City A was 37.41 years versus 36.18 in City B (P<0.001). Men in City A underwent vasectomy after a mean of 1.96 children as opposed to a mean of 2.60 children in City B (P<0.001). There was no statistically significant trend in average age or number of children over time. Conclusions: Men in an urban setting underwent vasectomy at an older age and with fewer children when compared to a rural practice environment. While studies evaluating demographics of men undergoing vasectomy have previously been performed, our results are unique in terms of a direct comparison between different population concentrations.

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