World Vasectomy Day (#WVD), a global initiative now in its fourth year, has become the largest male oriented contraception event in history. It is creating conversations among men about the benefits of family planning, addressing their concerns and helping them to participate in a role that is too often borne solely by women.
This year WVD will live stream from Nairobi, Kenya, and cities around the globe will participate. In Canada, doctors from Vancouver-based Pollock clinics will take part. Last year over 3000 vasectomies were performed in 32 countries by some 500 providers on World Vasectomy Day.
Rates of Use
Vasectomy procedure rates vary widely around the world, and reflect the regional struggles women have in accessing and gaining agency to use modern contraceptives in general. A recent Lancet report shows it is most popular in regions with higher levels of socioeconomic development and gender equality.
In Canada, where vasectomies are largely covered by most provincial health insurance plans, they are the most widely used modern contraceptive method: 22% of women rely on them, accounting for 31% of all modern method use.
Vasectomy prevalence is 12% overall in Northern America and 11% in Oceania and Northern Europe.
These rates differ significantly in the least developed world. In Africa, for example, vasectomy prevalence is effectively 0%, with fewer than 100,000 men having accessed it.
Time to Disrupt the Status Quo
The biggest barrier to reducing birth rates is gender inequality. Population growth is fastest where female literacy is low, where violence against women is common and where their reproductive rights aren’t protected.
These are often the same regions where men dominate family size and birth control decisions and, if they oppose contraception, partners may either discontinue using birth control or never start at all—one of the reasons for the 74 million unintended pregnancies that occur annually. Thus, it’s critically important that family planning programs target men as well as women and girls in efforts to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.
Vasectomies remain a hard sell, however, despite the medical advances in the procedure, the relative ease with which they are carried out and their near 100% efficacy rate as a form of contraception—all the more reason to spread the word about the campaign.
PIC is a strong supporter of World Vasectomy Day and is pleased that it is becoming more successful every year. The greater its success, the more willing men will be to consider and accept their shared role in family planning—to the benefit of their families, their communities and the planet.
Contact: Madeline Weld, PhD, President, Population Institute Canada
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.populationinstitutecanada.ca
PIC is the voice of Canadians concerned with overpopulation and its environmental impact. Founded in 1992, it campaigns to increase support for reproductive health and education, especially for women and girls, and for universal, voluntary access to family planning which the UN notes “…could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology available to the human race.”
Fact: Continued global population growth, together with overconsumption, is incompatible with a healthy, sustainable future for humanity and our planet.
Patrons: Sir David Attenborough; Robert Bateman; Margaret Catley-Carlson; Drs. Paul & Anne Ehrlich; Robert Fowler; Dr.William Rees; Dr. David Schindler; Ronald Wright. See Patron bios.