March Madness Leads to Rise in Vasectomies

Young man switching on a tv set with a remote control

According to ESPN, urologists have reported a 50% increase in the number of vasectomies scheduled in the days leading up to the NCAA tournament in recent years. The short procedure has become more common and resulted in around 500,000 vasectomies per year.

Every year, March Madness gives basketball lovers a chance to create a personalized bracket with their favorite NCAA teams and watch their results unfold. For men that are considering a vasectomy, this presents a perfect time for a medically excused stay at home to binge watch all the action.

ProMedica urologist Timothy Schuster, MD, answers some common questions about vasectomies.

Q: What is a vasectomy?
A: A vasectomy is a way to permanently sterilize a man. It is done by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm into the seminal stream preventing fertilization.

How long does the procedure take?
The outpatient procedure can last anywhere from 20 – 30 minutes and can be done under local anesthesia. Men are able to drive themselves home after, however there may be discomfort.

How long is recovery?
A couple days of little to no physical activity are necessary. Some men place frozen peas or bags of ice on the area to minimize soreness.

What are some common misconceptions about vasectomies?
One of the most common misconceptions is the testicles are disrupted; however the sterilization happens because of the interruption of sperm flow. Vasectomies do not affect testosterone levels, sex drive or the man’s ability to have an erection.

Are vasectomies reversible?
Yes, some vasectomies may be reversed, but the reversal process isn’t always successful and insurance rarely pays for it. Only about 3% of men want it reversed, typically due to divorce/remarriage.

Read more about men’s health issues.

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