A year after the end of Roe v Wade, are you seeing increased interest in vasectomies?

Urology Times JournalVol 51 No 06
Volume 51
Issue 06

"A couple [of] times recently, I’ve done 6 in 1 day. A couple weeks ago, I did 4, the week before that, 5. So I would say I’ve seen an uptick," says urologist Bradford Black, MD.

Bradford Black, MD

Bradford Black, MD

“We used to do 2 vasectomies every Friday afternoon because we had 2 complete kits. Our girls thought that was all we wanted to do, but I said, ‘if we need to do more, we can do them during the lunch hour or first thing in the morning.’

A couple [of] times recently, I’ve done 6 in 1 day. A couple weeks ago, I did 4, the week before that, 5. So I would say I’ve seen an uptick. A couple [of] men said the overturning of Roe v Wade had an effect on their decision, but I don’t usually ask. They just come in and say, ‘I’m ready.’

I’m seeing numbers I’ve never seen before.

I see all age ranges, but last week everybody was young. They were all around 27. I’ve seen some men in their 40s, 50s and…[a] man recently was 70, but his girlfriend was young. That was very unusual.

It seems like a lot of guys getting vasectomies don’t have…many kids. I’ve had several recently with no kids. All of a sudden, men have 0 kids, and they’re getting it done.

I’ve also seen a bunch with 1 kid. Last week, 1 guy had 4, 1 had 0, the other 2…both had 1. I never really asked them because I wasn’t trying to be scientific, but it just seems [that] a lot more than usual had…0 to 1 kid. It’s just different.

Sometimes, if someone is pregnant, I’ll ask if they want to wait until the baby comes to make sure everything’s good, but they usually decline, and that worries me a little.”

Bradford Black, MD

Alliance, Ohio

Ethan Fram, MD

Ethan Fram, MD

“I’ve had 2 patients come to me specifically because of the Roe v Wade decision. That’s not a lot, relative to the number of vasectomies I do. I’ve noticed a steady increase, but I’m also relatively new so it may be my referral network building out.

The average age I’m seeing is early to late 30s. That seems to be pretty consistent. My partner has been doing this for 20 years; he does a ton of vasectomies in that age range. We haven’t noticed any major change.

Oregon doesn’t really have any concerns about Roe v Wade. Oregon is a very liberal state. It’s unlikely to ever be an issue here. Plenty of people here would love to restrict abortion, but the reality is they’re a small minority. The vast majority of folks in Oregon live in urban areas, and the nonurban portion is very sparsely populated.

Of the 2 men I know who came because of Roe v Wade, one came…because his partner had medical issues and pregnancy would be unsafe for her. The other…was a construction worker on contract in Oregon who lives full-time in Idaho, which is very…different [politically]. Idaho is extremely conservative and already has restrictive abortion laws. In that situation, he made it clear they wanted control over pregnancy, so he took care of it while he was here.

I don’t think I’ll see that often because of where we’re located. I’m 6 hours from Idaho. South of us is California, and Washington is an hour north. Neither state is likely to ban abortion.”

Ethan Fram, MD

Tualatin, Oregon

Jenelle Foote, MD

Jenelle Foote, MD

“I had hoped we would see that in Atlanta, but we haven’t. I will tell you 1 thing, however. I’ve noticed more younger men want vasectomies. I’m doing more young-men vasectomies than I’ve done before. It’s not so much the volume, but the demographic is shifting toward men in their 20s and early 30s.

They have not given the Court decision specifically as a reason, but it is odd. Something else that happened recently, just anecdotally. I had a young couple, in their 20s, decide they just definitely don’t want to have children. That’s…unusual.

In the past, you tried talking to them about being young; there may be another relationship down the line. But they made it very clear, ‘We’ve decided we’re not going to have children; this is what we want to do.’

I guess that’s the biggest difference I’ve seen, younger men seeking a vasectomy, I’m seeing more men in their 20s and 30s—before, it was more 30s and 40s. This is totally anecdotal. I haven’t seen a huge volume, but I have seen more younger men.”

Jenelle Foote, MD

Atlanta, Georgia

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