The greenest thing you can do the for the planet is have a vasectomy

Carol Saffer

National director of vasectomy at Carlton’s Mayfair Operating Centre, Dr Justin Low, said he was seeing an increase in the number of younger men and couples who do not want to have kids.

“Between 2020 and 2021, there was an almost 20 per cent increase in the number of childless men under 30 requesting vasectomies,” Dr Low said.

“Some men say honestly; they have no urge to have children.”

On their first date four years ago, Gordon* 27, and Lucy* 26, told each other neither wanted to have children.

“Having kids was not for Lucy or me,” Gordon said.

The couple ratified their decision to live a child-free life when Gordon underwent a vasectomy performed by Dr Low a year ago.

“Lucy has always experienced side effects from birth control, and after careful research and counselling, it was clear that a vasectomy was the best and timely option for us,” he said.

The couple chose not to have Gordon’s sperm harvested and frozen.

Gordon, who describes himself as an over-thinker, said he considered all possibilities of why the couple might change their mind in the future and is confident they won’t arise.

Dr Low said some men believed they couldn’t cope with the responsibility of children, either financially or emotionally.

Others are concerned about their relationship with their father and fear replicating their circumstances in a family of their own.

Dr Low said the most common age of men undergoing vasectomy was between 35 to 40 years of age.

“They usually have one to three kids,” Dr Low said.

“We have men also in their 60s requesting the surgery due to a change of life or change of partner.”

Gavin* and his wife, both in their early 40s, have two children under six. They jointly decided that their family was complete.

“[Having a vasectomy] was our preferred method of contraception,” Gavin said.

“I had no anxiety about our decision but was a little anxious about any pain and my recovery,” he said.

“It’s been five days now, and all is okay; Dr Low was an excellent surgeon.”

Dr Low said the centre started a non-directive counselling service for young men to assist in decision-making in 2018.

“A vasectomy is a very permanent and serious decision to consider,” he said.

“We offer them the possibility to freeze their sperm before proceeding with their final decision, which costs $1000 to set up and $350 per year to keep them frozen.”


We also have noticed an increase with women requesting their male partner to undertake a vasectomy as an alternative to them undertaking birth control.


The gold standard practice at Mayfair Operating Centre worldwide is the new “no-scalpel open-ended technique”.

It does not necessitate an overnight stay as the operation takes only 15 minutes, with most patients out of the centre within two to three hours.

The risk factor of regretting a vasectomy is most significant for men under 30 years of age.

Data shows that men in this age bracket are 12.5 times more likely to request vasectomy reversal.

Patients may regret having the vasectomy done during a personal crisis or in an unstable relationship, or under pressure from their partner.

When asked about the statistics on a pregnancy occurring after a vasectomy reversal, Dr Low quoted a study showing patients who had their vasectomy reversed after three years had a 76 per cent chance of pregnancy.

If the reversal occurs after 15 years, the rate of possible pregnancy falls to 30 per cent.

Mayfair Operating Centre is owned and run by Marie Stopes Australia, the only national, independently accredited safe abortion, vasectomy and contraception provider helping women and men take complete control of their reproductive lives.

The organisation’s managing director and City of Melbourne councillor Jamal Hakim said he was excited to be expanding its vasectomy services on Elizabeth St, complementing existing services across Melbourne and around the country.

“An increasing number of men are turning to our vasectomy services to take control of their reproductive health, and we will continue to expand our services to meet this demand,” Mr Hakim said.

Mayfair Operations Centre, located in the medical precinct at the top end of Elizabeth St, charges what they consider to be an affordable fee that leaves the patient $480 out of pocket.

“We are always looking to provide new ways for customers to access our services wherever they may live – because we believe sexual reproductive health services should not be a postcode lottery,” Mr Hakim said.

“This new location will mean more people will be able to access vasectomy services closer to home in Melbourne.” •


*Names changed for privacy protection.

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