Document Type


Publication Date

January 1969


In 1899, Dr. Albert Ochsner suggested a different operation to achieve infertility. In a discussion focused on treatments for prostrate problems, Ochsner described how he surgically removed a portion of the cord technically known as the vas deferens, thereby permanently removing a route for the sperm to travel. Ochsner's surgery may have been the first reported vasectomy, but he specifically prescribed it as a means of preventing the procreation of convicted criminals. Since castration ignited "the strongest possible opposition," he recommended that vasectomy be considered not only for criminals but also for "chronic inebriates, imbeciles, perverts, and paupers."