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Urology. 1998 Oct;52(4):685-91.

Clinical aspects of vasectomies performed in the United States in 1995.

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AVSC International, New York, New York 10016, USA.



Currently, no surveillance system collects data on the numbers and characteristics of vasectomies performed annually in the United States. This study provides nationwide data on the numbers of vasectomies and the use of no-scalpel vasectomy, various occlusion methods, fascial interposition, and protocols for analyzing semen after vasectomy.


A retrospective mail survey (with telephone follow-up) was conducted of 1800 urology, family practice, and general surgery practices drawn from the American Medical Association's Physician Master File and stratified by specialty and census region. Mail survey and telephone follow-up yielded an 88% response rate.


In 1995, approximately 494,000 vasectomies are estimated to have been performed by 15,800 physicians in the United States. Urologists performed 76% of all vasectomies, and nearly all (93%) urology practices performed vasectomies in 1995. Nearly one third (29%) of vasectomies in 1995 were no-scalpel vasectomies, and 37% of physicians performing no-scalpel vasectomies taught themselves the procedure. The most common occlusion method in 1995 (used for 38% of all vasectomies) was concurrent use of ligation and cautery. In 1995, slightly less than half (48%) of all physicians surveyed interposed the fascial sheath over one end of the vas when performing a vasectomy. Protocols for ensuring azoospermia varied: 56% of physicians required one postvasectomy semen specimen; 39% required two, and 5%, three or more.


No-scalpel vasectomy, used by nearly one third of U.S. physicians, has become an accepted part of urologic care. Physicians' variations in occlusion methods, use of fascial interposition, and postvasectomy protocols underscore the need for large scale, controlled, and statistically valid studies to determine the efficacy of occlusion methods and fascial interposition, as well as whether azoospermia is the only determination of a successful vasectomy.

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