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Men rush to get vasectomies after Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade. has overthrown

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Thomas Figueroa has always known that he did not want children. Growing up in Central Florida, he remembers his classmates getting pregnant as early as high school and, considering having a vasectomy in recent years.

But after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, he rushed to schedule one. He applied for a vasectomy on Monday with Doug Stein, a Florida urologist known as the “Vasectomy King” for his advocacy of the procedure.

“It’s something I put on the back burner until recently when the Supreme Court decision took place,” said Figueroa, 27, who lives in Tampa. “That was the triggering factor there. It prompted me to say, ‘Okay, I don’t want kids. I’m going for this vasectomy now.” †

Figueroa is not alone. Urologists told The Washington Post that they had seen a spike in requests for the procedure in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Stein said he received four or five vasectomy requests a day before Friday. Since the court’s ruling was announced, that number has risen to 12 to 18 requests per day.

“It was very, very noticeable on Friday, and then the number that came in this weekend was huge, and the number that is still coming in is way greater than what we’ve experienced in the past,” Stein told The Post. “Many of the guys say they’ve been thinking about a vasectomy for a while, and the Roe v. Wade decision was the last factor that knocked them over the edge and made them submit the online registration.”

vasectomies

Some doctors face confusion and fear in a post-Roe world. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has joined several other professional organizations and medical journals in recent days to warn that the ruling will impact health care beyond abortion, pose new risks to patients, and potentially increase the risk of health problems. Maternal mortality increases. Doctors are concerned about the implications for situations like miscarriage and in vitro fertilization. The practice of medicine will be reformed, the group said, or even contradicted “by-laws not based on science or evidence.”

Doctors Face Confusion and Anxiety in the Post-Roe World

A vasectomy is a form of permanent sterilization that prevents sperm from flowing through the vas deferens and combining with sperm. The National Center for Health Statistics reported that women relied on vasectomy as a form of birth control in 2002 wereause they or their partners already had all the children they wanted. But from 2011 to 2015, other reasons for relying on vasectomies, including medical reasons and problems with other forms of birth control, became more common.

There has been a push for vasectomies in anticipation of Roe being reversed and anti-abortion laws coming into effect in states across the country. Stein and other vasectomy advocates have taken to the streets and child welfare offices to encourage people to undergo the procedure.

Men across America are getting vasectomies ‘as an act of love.’

Stein said his practice is fully booked with vasectomy appointments through the end of August, prompting him to free up more days for recently registered patients. He and his collaborator, John Curington, said the decision to annul Roe was factored directly into their patients’ requests for vasectomies. The doctors said that men under 30 who don’t have children are asking for more vasectomies than before.

“I’d say at least 60 or 70 percent cite the Supreme Court decision,” Curington said. “And a few of them have such sophistication as young men that they think of Judge Thomas and his opinion that birth control might fall next time. And that’s shocking. That’s something that’s only coming up in our conversations this week.”

Amanda Omelian, 33, and her boyfriend, Eric Nisi, have also always known they didn’t want children. Nisi, 29, has recently considered undergoing a vasectomy but said the Supreme Court decision prompted him to take the next step.

Omelian, who is from Homosassa, Florida, and already uses two forms of birth control, is concerned that Florida will soon restrict access to these contraceptives, in addition to limiting abortion rights with its recently passed 15-week abortion ban. That prompted Nisi to sign up for a vasectomy on Tuesday.

The sharp increase Stein’s practice has reported matches what other urologists say they have seen since the Dobbs opinion draft was leaked last month.

Philip Werthman, a urologist in Los Angeles, also reported a “300 to 400 percent” increase in the number of vasectomy consultations he performed. Esgar Guarín, an Iowa urologist trained under Stein who specializes in vasectomies, said he’d seen a “200 to 250 percent” increase in traffic to his vasectomy information website.

Marc Goldstein, a urologist, and director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Microsurgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York said he usually sees twice as many patients per week for vasectomy reversals compared to vasectomies.

“Now it’s the other way around,” he said. “So it’s been a dramatic shift. And this [decision] will only further influence that in terms of increasing requests.”

It’s not the first time a major news event has sparked a rise in vasectomies. Goldstein said vasectomy requests peaked after the Great Recession of 2008 as more men began to worry about raising additional children while under financial stress. As the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020, there was also an increase in requests with more men working from home, Guarín said.

“When something like this happens in the news, we get a shock,” Guarín said, adding that he’s seen a consistent increase in the number of vasectomy requests each year. “The general upward trend is continuing, but the dramatic bumps are not.”

The Affordable Care Act does not require all insurance companies to cover the deductible for vasectomies, unlike female contraceptives, which are protected as “preventive services.” Nisi, who has no job and health insurance, said he would pay for the procedure out of pocket, which costs just under $600 at Stein and Curington’s practice.

Figueroa, an IT professional, said he also decided to pay out of pocket, despite having health insurance from his employer.

“That’s not a concern to me at all,” he said, adding that the ease of the procedure motivated him to get it done. “Birth control for a woman doesn’t have to be necessary for something that, in my opinion, is equally cheap and very fast.”

Urologists attribute the general increase in vasectomies to an evolution in attitudes in men.

Werthman stressed that the recent surge in vasectomy requests in California has come even though the right to abortion in the state is likely to remain unaffected by the Supreme Court decision. “If there’s one state in the country that won’t allow abortion rights to be abolished, it’s California,” he said.

Werthman, who has performed vasectomies at Planned Parenthood for 20 years, said he believes there has been a “change in men’s psyches,” and they are more concerned about their role in family planning than before.

Nisi said he doesn’t want Omelian, his girlfriend, to be “stressed about getting pregnant” because of a possible lack of access to contraception in the future. “The world is scary, and you don’t know what’s coming because it seems like we’re going backward.”

Figueroa echoed the sentiment, saying that what had unfolded in the days since last week was the final push he needed to enroll in the vasectomy he had long contemplated.

“This is probably one of the very, very rare things in politics that hit me personally and hard,” he said. “It woke my eyes.”

Ariana Eunjung Cha contributed to this report.

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