Economy Down, Vasectomy Up
More Men Choosing Permanent Sterilization in Trying Economic Times
One of Jones' patients didn't have far to travel after losing his job.
"One very demonstrative patient was a gentleman who had a great job for three or four years, working on a federally funded road project just out the door from our clinic," Jones says. "When the job went away, he came into my office and said, 'In this environment, I don't feel I could have any more children.' And I think there are a thousand more stories like that."
Many of the men now coming into urologists' offices had already decided on vasectomy, but were motivated to act by fear of losing their health insurance. Others had even more pragmatic concerns.
"Couples are finding ways of trying to save money, so they don't go out to a fancy dinner or an extravagant show," Shin says. "And if they're staying home, what is the most common free activity? And what does it lead to? If sexual activity is on the rise, vasectomy is a sure way of preventing a mistake."
Ross warns that the decision to have a vasectomy should not be made lightly. While the procedure is safe, inexpensive, and relatively minor -- recovery is rapid and takes only a day -- it should be considered permanent.
"Doing a vasectomy is simple and relatively inexpensive. Undoing it is very expensive and is not covered by any insurance," Ross says. ""We have to make sure every patient we talk to knows this is permanent, and they have to be absolutely certain they do not want to father any more children."