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Vasectomies hit record level in Finland

New statistics from the Institute of Health and Welfare show that more men than ever before are getting vasectomies in Finland.

Men are getting vasectomies more often than ever before. Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

A total of 5,000 people were sterilised in Finland in 2015, up by 600 people from the previous year. Male sterilisation represented 49.7 percent of all cases, which is a higher proportion than at any other time since the 1950s when figures on sterilization first started to be kept.

Men are almost neck to neck with women when it comes to getting the operation done. While more and more men go in for the procedure than before, the proportion of women getting sterilised has also dropped significantly.

Graph showing the rate of sterilisation among men and women, per 1,000 people. Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

If the trend continues, men may overtake women in sterilisation statistics as early as this year.

The National Institute for Health and Welfare says that over 35-year-olds are the most likely to have a vasectomy, while the proportion of younger men getting the snip has been dropping.

Effective but not foolproof contraceptive

A vasectomy operation is performed by either blocking or cutting the vas deferens, or sperm duct. Women are sterilised by blocking the Fallopian tubes, usually with metallic clips.

Legally no one in Finland under the age of 30 may be sterilised; in some cases health watchdog Valvira must grant special permission.

Not even sterilisation can guarantee a 100 percent contraceptive effect.

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