History of Vasectomy Part 2 | Minneapolis

In 1890 vasectomy is suggested as an alternative to castration by Ewing Mears for the treatment of severe symptoms of enlarged prostate glands. Then in 1899 Ochsner (future professor of Surgery at the University of Illinois) publishes his paper “Surgical treatment of habitual criminals”, which kick-starts the Eugenics movement. The Eugenics movement uses science to reform and control nature and human society. It stems from the idea of survival of the fittest.

In 1900, Harrison publishes a paper based on over 100 cases where Vasectomy was the primary procedure for the removal of bladder stones. Claims of rapid and substantial improvement with minimal morbidity led to the treatment being fashionable for a short time for management of enlarged prostate. Wood publishes a case study of 193 patients undergoing vasectomy as treatment for enlarged prostate. 15% had improved urination, but 67% manifested some “General improvement”.

In 1902, Bilateral Vasectomy was first established to be effective in reducing the incidence of epididymitis after prostatectomy. The medical profession had sought hard to find an alternative to the existing practice of castration for enlarged prostate, and it was established by White that vasectomy was an effective treatment. One of the reasons an alternative was sought is because of the reputed case whereby a disgruntled patient murdered a surgeon! Vasectomy remained in common use as a cure for post-prostate surgery until antibiotics were common place.

In 1907, Parlovechoi first attempted to reverse an accidental vasectomy that occurred in a hernia operation. Later authors describe the technique under the names of Vasorraphy or vasovasal anastomis.

During 1907-1910 Vasectomy is recommended to be used to sterilize “the undesirables” of the world. Belfield publishes his paper “Race suicide for social parasites”. He was one of the proponents of enforced vasectomy for criminals. This is where the Eugenics movement comes into play. In 1910 Russia sent a delegate to the United States to observe a male prisoner being sterilized.

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