Presentation Authors: Michael Siev*, Michael Schulster, Wen Liu, Jesse Persily, Bobby Najari, New York, NY
Introduction: Men who have undergone vasectomy are often used as a fertile control in epidemiologic studies of male infertility. Additionally, epidemiologic studies of these surgically sterile men periodically yield concerning disease associations. While men undergoing vasectomy have well described demographic characteristics, their health status and healthcare utilization compared to non-sterilized fertile men is less well defined.
Methods: We performed an analysis of the 2006-2015 waves of the National Survey for Family Growth (NSFG), a nationally representative survey of men aged 15-44 in the United States. We compared demographics, health status, and healthcare utilization between men who had undergone vasectomy and non-sterilized men using complex sampling analyses required by the NSFG survey design.
Results: Of the 19,724 men surveyed, 8,384 (43%) of met the inclusion criteria of having fathered at least one child and not being evaluated for infertility. Using the NSFG weighting methodology, this is equivalent to a national population of 28,970,087 proven fertile men, 11.5% of whom have undergone a vasectomy (Table 1). Compared to non-sterilized men, men who underwent vasectomy were older, more likely to be white, achieved higher levels of education, had more children, and had higher income. Compared to non-sterilized men, men who underwent vasectomy also had a better health status (Table 2). While 73% (95% CI: 67.5 - 77.8) of surgically sterilized men reported very good to excellent health, only 66% (64.6 - 67.5) of non-sterilized men reported such health, p=0.018. Finally, whereas 86.6% (82.5 - 90.2) of men who had undergone vasectomy had a place they regularly seek healthcare, only 67.3% (65.2 - 69.3) of non-sterilized men had such a place, p < 0.001.
Conclusions: Men who have had a vasectomy not only have demographic differences compared to non-sterilized men, they also have better health status and utilize healthcare at higher rates. These differences should be considered in epidemiologic studies that evaluate this group of men.