Healthbeat 4: Iowa doctor on the road to increase visibility of vasectomies

Dr. Guarin says he takes his clinic on the road to increase visibility and awareness of the...
Dr. Guarin says he takes his clinic on the road to increase visibility and awareness of the procedure to get more men participating in male contraception.(KTIV)
Updated: Nov. 1, 2022 at 9:30 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - It’s hard to miss Dr. Esgar Guarin in a medicalized vehicle painted with a sperm motif.

Step inside, it looks like a normal procedure room, just on wheels. Dr. Gaurin travels through Iowa and to Sioux City each month to perform vasectomies on the road.

“For every man who gets a vasectomy, according to data from the hospital association, there are four and a half women getting tubal ligations, which tells you that women are four and a half times more likely to be participants active participants in permanent decisions when it comes to contraception,” said Dr. Gaurin. “So that’s where the need happens. So when we came up with the idea of doing this, it was not necessary to bring services to other areas, but to be able to bring the message that conveyed the message of the participation of men in contraception,” said Dr. Gaurin.

The procedure is not different in the mobile clinic than at brick and mortar doctor’s office. Dr. Gaurin says he does a 15-minute no-scalpel procedure, using a local anesthetic. He contrasts that with a woman getting a tubal ligation -- a more invasive surgery with a longer recovery time.

His goal? Increase the visibility of the procedure, ultimately lowering the 4-1 tubal ligation to vasectomy ratio in Iowa and show choosing male contraception can be an act of love.

“Why are you doing it? Because of my children, if I have one more child, I will not be able to provide for the children all that I’m providing right now. Why do you want to do it? I’m doing it for myself, I want to live free of responsibilities, you know. Why are you doing it? Do it for the environment. It’s too many of us on the planet, if I choose to have a child, I will adopt. I didn’t, I didn’t see the need of having a biological child. So it’s always some expression of love towards someone,” said Dr. Gaurin.

He works with World Vasectomy Day, recognized on Nov. 18, to provide cheaper and sometimes free vasectomies around the world. The doctor emphasizes it isn’t about getting the vasectomy in his clinic or another office, it is about increasing the number of men getting vasectomies and lowering the stigma around them.

Click here for pre and post-operation resources along with insurance information.