While there are plenty of people in the world who genuinely do not want children when they are young and won’t want children at any point in their lives, there are plenty more who think they don’t want children when they are young and then end up wanting them when they get older. Surgical sterilization seems like such a drastic step, is it really an appropriate choice for men in their twenties?

Studies have indicated that while the instance of vasectomy in young men is high, many men in their middle adulthood also choose this option for birth control. The influence behind this decision tends to differ dramatically depending on the age of the man. Men in their early twenties to mid-thirties tend to get vasectomies out of a notion that they do not want children and want to have greater sexual freedom. Men older than this are often compelled to get the sterilization surgery as the birth control solution within their relationship. Though surgical in nature, vasectomy does not carry the types of side effects as the birth control options used by women, which makes it an attractive choice for couples who believe they are done  having children.

Whether due to the start of a new relationship, or just a change of heart, many men who get a vasectomy eventually have a change of heart. Though the instance of men who have gotten vasectomies later wishing to father children is higher among men who have the surgery earlier in life, those that have the surgery later in life are more likely to change their minds sooner. There are two options for these men. Unfortunately, only one can occur after the fact. Vasectomy reversal surgery is a possibility, and has an average success rate of around 40% in healthy patients. Most practitioners, however, recommend men undergo sperm cryopreservation before getting the surgery. This is essentially the same process that is performed when women have their eggs or embryos frozen for later use. This gives a sense of insurance that if the man changes his mind about fathering a child, there is the possibility of using this sperm and intrauterine insemination to produce pregnancy rather than attempting to reverse the surgery.

Source: Potts, J.M. et al. Patient Characteristics Associated with Vasectomy Reversal, The Journal of Urology, Volume 161, Issue 6, June 1999, pp 1835-1839.