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COVID-19 Baby Boom: Vasectomy providers cut services

Vasectomy during coronavirus crisis

There’s already talk of a post-coronavirus baby boom and this latest recommendation could see numbers climb even higher.

No Scalpel Vasectomy Australia (NSVA) the peak body for vasectomy providers and practices in Australia, has recommended, at this time, the cessation of all office-based vasectomy services.

The organisation says, in a statement, that although office-based vasectomy services use only minimal PPE and could be an important health service at this time, it’s important to consider the wider community care and safety considerations.

They state that vasectomies are a minor elective procedure which should be performed under local anaesthetic as an office-based procedure, which minimises the use of essential PPE.

“In the Covid-19 pandemic climate delivering vasectomy services may be seen as a very important health service by some couples as an option for family planning and contraception,” NSVA says.

“Similarly, in an economic sense, for providers and associated organisations it may be seen as an important income stream to maintain financial and operational sustainability.

“On the other hand, vasectomy services, unlike abortion care, are not ‘Category 1’ or emergency surgery and financial imperatives should not override community care and safety considerations.”

The NSVA’s decision was also based on the requirement for face-to-face contact, which could increase the risk of transmission.

“Vasectomy, especially being a permanent method of contraception, requires counselling. This usual face-to-face pre-operative counselling significantly increases the risk of Covid-19 transmission,” NSVA says.

“The vasectomy process involves reception staff who need to be protected with a degree of PPE [and] the operation including the setup and post-operative phases involves, at a minimum, contact with the doctor and possibly a nurse.”

What if you do fall pregnant? Is there a risk at this time?

The good news, according to obstetrician Dr Brad Robinson, is that, from what we know so far about coronavirus, there is no increased risk for pregnant women and their unborn babies.

“The bulk of the research done so far is from a group of 19 women who were pregnant and delivered in China.

“What was found was that there was no increased risk of miscarriage, there was no increased risk of stillbirth and there was no risk of vertical transmission of the virus from the mother to the baby.”

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