Vasectomy Rates Rise as U.S. Economy Struggles

"Vasectomia" by Rhcastilhos - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

During the recent “great recession” in the United States, more people became worried about the costs associated with raising a child. With an uncertain job market and economic instability, more men are seeking a vasectomy, according to a new study. Dr. Bobby Najari, an urologist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York said,” Despite an unchanged desire for more children, men in relationships reported planning smaller families.”


Dr. Najiri and his colleagues reported their research findings in Honolulu, Hawaii during the yearly meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. When a man gets a vasectomy, the sperm transporting route is blocked by interrupting the vas deferens glands, which carry the sperm out of the testicles to the urethra. If a man were ever to change his mind about wanting children, he can have a reversal procedure done.

In older studies, there was a trend of rising rates in vasectomies as the economy struggled.
Dr. Marc Goldstein, a co-author of the study, spoke to HealthDay in March of 2009 and reported his office has experienced an increase in the number of vasectomies being performed.

He reported, “I used to do one or two every Friday. Now, I’m doing three on Fridays. There’s been a significant increase.”

Speaking further, Dr. Goldstein stated, “Nobody came in and said they were having a vasectomy because the stock market crashed. Most are saying, ‘we’ve been thinking about it for a long time,’ and [the crash] influenced their decision. They’re saying with the cost of private school for three kids, they can’t afford to have another one.”

In another study that was published at the 2014 meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the results were quite similar. Another study referenced was headed by Dr. Arnad Shirdharani of Erlanger Health Systems in Tennessee and it involved reviewing data from males receiving vasectomies at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
The information was similar to what was previously discovered. It was found that as the median income for families in the state of Wisconsin declined, the yearly rates for vasectomies increased.

However, the results from the most recent study are quite different because it didn’t rely on data from a specific medical center, but on countrywide data obtained from the National Survey for Family Growth.
In this study, Dr.’s Najari and Goldstein, along with co-author Dr. Peter Schlegel, reviewed information on almost 9,000 males. The data covered the time of the recession that ran from December 2007 through June 2009.

Results of Study

According to the results of the research, there was “no change in the proportion of men who wanted more children,” which remained around 68 %.
However, the desire to have more children was maybe dampened by the realities of the current economy because, ‘men interviewed after the recession began planned on having fewer children.”


In conclusion, the overall reason for a 28% rise in the number of vasectomies performed can be attributed to the flagging economy. The rates of vasectomy rose from 3.9% before the depression to approximately 4.1% after the most recent economic downturn.


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