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From eugenics to the fight for equality: inside the surprising history of vasectomy in Britain

Most people seem to know what a vasectomy is. But few know its full, complicated history

By Georgia Grainger  

The history of vasectomy is more complicated than you might think. Photo: Prospect composite

Most people seem to know what a vasectomy is—but do you remember where you learned what it is? For most people, I find the answer is “no.” It’s just part of general knowledge that most adults in Britain seem to have, that vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure to sterilise men, and that it can sometimes be reversible. Other contraceptive knowledge that most adults are likely to have some idea of in Britain would be,…

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