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More Young Adults Are Opting for Sterilization According to New Analysis

Researchers found an increase in the number of tubal ligation and vasectomy patients between the ages of 18 and 30

More Young Adults Are Opting for Sterilization According to New Analysis

A new study found that more young Americans are opting for a permanent form of birth control – sterilization.

“Early research has documented increased demand for permanent contraception in the months following Dobbs, including tubal sterilization and vasectomy,” wrote the researchers. “This change may reflect fears of restricted access to abortion and/or contraception. However, no research, to our knowledge, has evaluated the differential effect of Dobbs on permanent contraception among men relative to women or among younger adults who are more likely to have an abortion and to experience sterilization regret.”

The analysis relies on data from the TriNetX platform, which describes itself as the world’s “largest, living ecosystem of global real-world data.” Researchers calculated the number of tubal ligation and vasectomy patients – female and male — between the ages of 18 and 30 over the past two years. Just under 37% of the procedures were for male patients while just over 63% were female patients.

“Prior to Dobbs, the monthly permanent contraception rate increased by 2.84 and 1.03 procedures per 100 000 person-months among female and male patients, respectively,” notes the analysis. “Dobbs was associated with an immediate level increase of 58.02 procedures and 5.31 procedures per month among female patients. Among male patients, it was associated with a level increase of 26.99 procedures and no significant change in the number of procedures per month. Findings were robust to sensitivity analyses.”

Not only did more young adults under 30 request a form of sterilization, but rates of the procedure were twice as high among women than their male counterparts.

“These patterns offer insights into the gendered dynamics of permanent contraceptive use and may reflect the disproportionate health, social, and economic consequences of compulsory pregnancy on women and people with the capacity to become pregnant,” said the researchers.

The team behind the analysis argues that the Supreme Court’s decision increased a sense of urgency among young adults who were already interested in permanent birth control. The team also acknowledged their analysis was unable to evaluate the potential outcomes of “state abortion policy or account for changes in the sample attributable to fluctuations in the organizations contributing data over the study period.”

Birth rates in America have collapsed over the last two decades. Between 2007 and 2023, the number of babies born for every 1,000 people fell from 14.3 to 11.1 – marking a 23% decline. 

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, “states are already feeling some effects of low fertility, such as lower school enrollment, but many of the most significant potential hits to tax revenues won’t occur for decades.”

“It’s worth noting that many states with the largest declines still maintained relatively strong overall population growth because of migration,” added the organization. “The total number of births statewide similarly didn’t decline nearly as sharply as the general fertility rate in Nevada, Utah, and some other states that women of childbearing age are moving to.”

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