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Vasectomy and refertilization

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It is impossible to date the earliest vasectomy. At the end of the nineteenth century such operations were not performed for sterilization, but for other medical indications. At the time of the earliest vasectomies it was believed that severing the vas deferens would improve prostate disease, heal impotence or extend life expectancy. Vasectomy was advocated as a fountain of youth (Isnardi 1896; Wolfers and Wolfers 1974). Eugenic aspects also played an important role among the indications for sterilization, as did elements of social control as advocated by Ochsner (1899) and Sharp (1902). In the 1920s and 1930s a series of nations passed laws justifying sterilization for eugenic reasons. Along with the other cruelties practiced by the Third Reich, compulsory sterilization for eugenic purposes achieved worldwide notoriety following the end of World War II. This resulted in the abrogation of the legal basis for eugenic sterilization in most states. Some states, however, maintained these laws and later some tried to apply them. Drake et al. (1999) describe the varied history of vasectomy and its changing indications over the course of time. © 2010 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.




Engelmann, U., & Gralla, O. (2010). Vasectomy and refertilization. In Andrology: Male Reproductive Health and Dysfunction (pp. 565–576). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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