Demand for vasectomy in the US increased after Roe v Wade was overturned in June – as men start to take precautions, now abortion is less available.
Clinics in parts of the country say they are seeing up to four times as many patients presenting for the operation now compared to before the July ruling.
Planned Parenthood of St Louis Region and Southwest Missouri performed 42 vasectomies in July 2022, compared to just ten in the same month the year before.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has heard similar reports from across the country.
Google’s trend data also shows increases in interest in the procedure, both when a draft of the decision was leaked in early May and when it was made official next month.
Searches for vasectomy increased eightfold during the week of May 7 compared to data a week earlier.
When the decision was officially revealed a month and a half later, searches increased again.
While some men go into these procedures thinking they are reversible, doctors warn that any man who gets the procedure damages his fertility forever.
Google searches for both vasectomies and abortion pills spiked after a draft of the Roe decision leaked in May and again when the court made it official on June 24
In response to the growing demand for vasectomies, the St Louis Planned Parenthood chapter is offering free vasectomies throughout the area next month.
Sixty vasectomies will be offered over three days in and outside of Planned Parenthood clinics in St. Louis, Springfield and Joplin, Missouri for uninsured patients.
The non-profit group describes the current situation as an increase in demand for the normally overlooked procedure in fertility care.
Dr. Mark Goldstein (pictured), director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine at Cornell University, said this type of demand is usually seen in times of economic hardship
Dr. Mark Goldstein, director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine at Cornell University, told DailyMail.com that demand for the procedure has now swamped demand for reversals.
However, the profile of a person seeking the procedure has remained the same, with a man of around 40 who already has a few children being the standard patient.
However, he sees more deviant patients now than before.
Dr. Goldstein says he is less likely to treat these patients unless they receive counseling and have their sperm frozen for later use.
The urologist also says that he will not perform the operation on a patient who expects to have it reversed later.
He added that similar trends were seen after the recession in 2008 and at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
What is a vasectomy?
Vasectomy is a procedure that prevents sperm from entering the sperm supply.
As a result, a man’s ejaculate will not contain the substance that makes it possible to impregnate a woman, making him infertile.
The procedure cuts the tube that carries a man’s sperm into the scrotum.
It is a relatively low-risk procedure, and a man who receives one will usually recover within a few days.
While the procedure is reversible, experts consider it to be a permanent form of birth control.
Only about 90 percent of men who want to reverse their vasectomy will be able to do so.
About 300,000 men have a vasectomy every year. Between three and ten percent seek to reverse the procedure.
Widespread economic stress at the time of both events had many men fearing that a child would lead to even more hardship.
Dr. Esgar Guarin then plans to take his mobile clinic on the road the following week to offer 40 more free vasectomies in several Iowa cities.
Dr. Guarin also plans to offer discounted vasectomies that month at his regular clinic in the Des Moines area.
The effort is part of World Vasectomy Day, which was originally a one-day event that now includes a year-round focus and a wide range of activities in November.
“This is a very special moment in reproductive rights in the United States. And we need to talk about it, he said.
A vasectomy involves cutting and sealing the tube that carries sperm, preventing it from entering the ejaculatory fluid. Most patients make a full recovery within a few days.
Experts say it’s too early for national figures for vasectomies around the country to be collected yet.
But anecdotal evidence from around the country shows there has been an increase in interest in the procedure.
Planned Parenthood said it had seen a 53 percent increase in traffic nationally to vasectomy information on its website since the Roe V Wade reversal.
Dr. Philip Werthman, a Los Angeles-based urologist, reported a 300 to 400 percent increase in consultations in the weeks following the decision to Washington Post.
Lawmakers are responding to the growing demand.
A California law will go into effect in 2024 to make vasectomy cheaper by allowing patients with private insurance to get the procedure at no extra cost.
Many men believe that these procedures are reversible and could use them to delay having children until later in life when they are better prepared.
About three to six percent of vasectomy patients — of whom there are about 300,000 each year — will have it reversed, studies suggest.
While they usually are, about 10 percent of men who seek to restore their fertility will not make it, according to research released in 2021.