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Planned Parenthood adds vasectomy services in Mishawaka

By Alex Li, Side Effects Public Media | Published on in Health, Science, Statewide News
Planned Parenthood leaders said in a press release that birth control isn’t a one-size-fits all product and that the organization wants to provide patients with different contraceptive options. Pexels

Planned Parenthood will provide vasectomy services at the Mishawaka Health Center in northern Indiana.

This is the second Planned Parenthood location to offer the service in the state. The organization’s Hammond location began offering vasectomy services in February.

Abortions are banned in Indiana, with a few, narrow exceptionsRebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, said it’s important to offer different contraceptive options for Indiana residents.

“Now that abortion is banned in Indiana, Hoosiers are considering the very real consequences of restricted access to care in their own lives and searching for solutions to prevent pregnancy,” she said.

Vasectomy is an outpatient service that can be performed under local anesthesia. It’s done by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm with the goal of cutting the supply of sperm to the semen. It’s one of the few birth control methods for men. Vasectomies are usually performed by a urologist, a physician who specializes in the male urinary tract and reproductive system. Many other health care facilities across the state provide vasectomies.

The procedure is over 99.99 percent effective in preventing pregnancies.

But it is not effective right away. People still need to use other forms of birth control until the remaining sperm is cleared out of the semen. This takes 15 to 20 ejaculations, or about three months.

Almost all vasectomies can be reversed but there is no guarantee that a person will be able to conceive a child. The longer it has been since a vasectomy was done, the less likely the reversal will work. The CDC says that people looking to get a vasectomy should be appropriately counseled about the permanency of vasectomies and the availability of highly effective, long-acting, reversible methods of contraception for women.

About 50 million people have had a vasectomy — approximately 5 percent of all married men of reproductive age. More than 500,000 men choose to have vasectomies every year in the U.S.

Planned Parenthood plans to expand vasectomy services throughout Indiana by the end of the year with two additional locations.

Appointments at the Mishawaka location will be available as early as October.

People looking to make an appointment for a vasectomy consultation can call 1-800-769-0045 or visit Planned Parenthood’s website.