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The Male Room

with Sheldon Marks, MD

This blog has been retired.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Vasectomies Up as the Economy Goes Down?

Reevaluating family in challenging times…

Widespread concerns about the economy and job security have recently generated news stories about an increase in men requesting vasectomies. According to a recent report on CNN, there is anecdotal evidence that the number of men getting vasectomies is going up as the economy is going down. With this in mind, I looked back at my own practice and spoke to a number of urologists. For many, it does seem that more men are requesting vasectomy. This fits with what we know about past drops in childbirth rates during tough economic times. When money is tight, limiting family size is a common theme. After all, raising a child is not cheap.

There are some that actually believe just the opposite – that there has been an actual downtrend in the number of vasectomies they have performed over the past months. Patients have relayed concerns over money and the cost of the procedure and even the co-pay, forcing many to actually delay their planned vasectomy for now.

I have seen an increase in both vasectomies and vasectomy reversals in my own practice over the past 6 months. Many of my patients are worried about the economy and how this will impact on their personal finances. These concerns have made many couples rethink their own home situation. As fears increase, it appears that families are turning inwards. Some parents feel they are complete and so opt for permanent sterilization via vasectomy. For others this introspection leads to a different conclusion. Some that have had a vasectomy realize that they do want more children and so move ahead with a vasectomy reversal.

It makes sense that when money gets tight, families will move inward towards each other – either to say “our family is complete” and choose a vasectomy or if feel they want more children, then a vasectomy reversal becomes the next step. Whichever direction couples move, these challenging financial times are making everyone reevaluate their lives, their goals and what really is important – their families.

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Posted by: Sheldon Marks, MD at 9:09 am

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