The inaugural World Vasectomy Day was last week and to celebrate a surgeon in Adelaide, Australia, performed the first-ever public vasectomy on stage — followed by fifteen more. Businessweek reports that the event, which was also live-streamed, is part of a larger campaign to raise awareness about the advantages of vasectomies and to also clear up some misconceptions. Needle-free vasectomies have been popular for over a decade, and the incision — said to feel like no more than a “tugging” sensation by a live patient who had been sprayed with anesthetic just prior — requires only a Band-Aid. The procedure takes under ten minutes, is among the most effective forms of birth control, and is also far safer, simpler, and cheaper than female sterilization. In fact, according to Planned Parenthood, a vasectomy in the U.S. costs between $350 and $1000, whereas female sterilization can cost up to six times as much. Though of course not reversible, it’s still a light on the horizon in the perennial search for male birth control: Ann Friedman noted in 2011 that male birth control pills “have been five to ten years away for the past 30 years,” but vasectomy techniques actually have improved substantially.
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