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The evolution of the Marie Stopes electrocautery no-scalpel vasectomy procedure
  1. Timothy Black, CBE, MRCP, MFFP, Chief Executive1 and
  2. Colin Francome, MA, PhD, Professor of Sociology of Health2
  1. Marie Stopes International, London, UK
  2. Middlesex University, London, UK, and Editor of the Middlesex University Press Health Series
  1. Correspondence Timothy Black, Chief Executive, Marie Stopes International, 153–157 Cleveland Street, London W1T 6QW, UK


Objective To review the evolution of the procedure, the reoperation rate and efficacy data for vasectomies performed in Marie Stopes centres during the periods 1990-1994 and 1995-1999.

Design Retrospective review of re-operation rates and primary and secondary failures during the periods 1990-1994 and 1995-1999.

Setting Marie Stopes vasectomy centres in the UK.

Participants A total of 41 123 men undergoing vasectomy.

Results The re-operation rate for the period 1990-1994 was 0.7% and fell to 0.46% for 1995-1999. The reported pregnancy rate fell from 1 in 1429 procedures for the period 1990-1994 to 1 in 2804 for 1995-1999.

Conclusion The results show that vasectomy has had a low failure rate well below that of other methods of birth control. The outcome data continue to improve over time with the evolution of improved techniques and surgical expertise.

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