The World Journal of Men's Health, v.28, no.3, pp.203 - 208
Purpose: In early 1980s, vasectomy was performed in more than 10 thousand men of reproductive age annually without cost as a South Korean government policy of birth control, but because the policy has been converted to encouraging childbirth since July 2004, vasovasostomy is now covered by national health insurance. We investigated the effect of national health insurance coverage of vasovasostomy.
Materials and Methods: From August 1997 to June 2009, a total of 117 patients who underwent vasovasostomy were enrolled in this study. We divided the patients into two groups. The 63 patients undergoing the procedure before national health insurance coverage were included in group A, and the other 54 patients, who underwent the procedure after insurance coverage began, were classified into group B. The two groups were compared according to age, spouse's age, time since vasectomy, number of children at the time of vasectomy, occupation, educational attainment, religion, and the reason for vasovasostomy.
Results: The average number of cases of vasovasostomy was almost 3 times higher after insurance coverage was introduced, at 2.3 cases per month. The average spouse's age was significantly higher in group B than group A (35.2±4.8 vs. 32.2±3.5, p=0.012). Time since vasectomy was shorter in group B than group A (5.7±4.7 years vs. 8.9±5.0 years, p=0.001). Number of children at the time of vasectomy showed no significant difference between group A and group B, at 1.7±0.7 and 1.6±0.8 respectively. Cross tabulation analysis of occupation, educational status, religion, and the reason for vasovasostomy showed no significant difference. The patency rate was significantly higher in group A than group B (87.3% vs. 90.7%, p=0.012), but there was no significant difference in pregnancy rate.
Conclusions: A significant increase was seen in patency rate, but not in pregnancy rate, after insurance coverage. However, further follow up will show us that a rise in the patency rate promises positive effects on the rise of pregnancy rate. We suggest that insurance coverage for vasovasostomy has encouraged an increase in births.