The demand for vasectomy procedures appears to have shot up across the United States, as last month's overturn of Roe v. Wade has allowed for bans and restrictions on abortions across several states.
The Supreme Court decision has sparked a phenomena on social media, with pro-vasectomy videos trending on TikTok. One viral video, which amassed 4.5 million views on the platform, showed a supposedly post-vasectomy man dancing across a parking lot, while the voiceover says, “When he gets a vasectomy for you because you live in a red state.” The comments section was filled with supportive replies, calling him a “10,” a “hero,” and a “true king.”
A pornographic film actor, King Nasir, announced his thoughts on getting the procedure done following the end of Roe.
According to staff from multiple different clinics interviewed by VICE News, the spike in vasectomy procedures is very real.
Dr. Charles Monteith, the medical director of A Personal Choice vasectomy and reversal clinic in North Carolina, claimed that his clinic’s website typically gets around 400 individual visitors a day. On June 24, the day Roe was overturned, a whopping 1,300 people visited the site, and vasectomy-related inquiries and appointments have continued to increase ever since.
"I'm normally scheduled out for two to four weeks," Monteith said. "Now, I’m scheduled out for three months." He added that he doesn’t schedule patients beyond three months, but if he did, he’d be booked until the end of the year.
"We have seen a dramatic increase in inquiries and contacts through our website and calls," he said.
A medical assistant in Huntsville, Alabama, told VICE that her clinic has gotten a “crazy” boost in vasectomy appointments, while Dr. Tim McAuliff, a Texas-based vasectomist, claimed that weekly calls to his clinic have doubled. Both are in states that have enacted abortion restrictions following the controversial Supreme Court decision.
"We’ve had some people call and say because of Roe v. Wade, they want to be more proactive or preventative," the doctor said. According to McAuliff, a lot of women have also been calling on behalf of their partners. A colleague of his in New York, where abortion rights are unlikely to change, also claimed that his vasectomy business has tripled.
"Maybe there’s emotional and psychological panic… I wouldn’t have thought that in a state where abortion is legal there’d be a change," McAuliff said of his colleague's uptick in appointments.
Dr. Doug Stein, a vasectomist based in Florida, said that the average number of men registering for vasectomies during the three weeks leading up to the overturn of Roe was 55 per week. During the week of the decision, a stunning 150 men registered for the procedure.
"Florida isn't even a trigger law state. We’re seeing this profound response here, but I can’t imagine how it would be in Tennessee and Missouri and other trigger law states, where abortion became illegal overnight," Stein said.
Before the overturn of Roe, childless men in their 20s accounted for less than 5 percent of patients seeking vasectomies at Stein’s clinic. That figure has since jumped to 9 percent.
According to Stein, new patients are generally citing one of three reasons for getting a vasectomy procedure. Some want to “step up to the plate” by taking over the contraceptive responsibilities from their female partner(s). Others are more concerned that the fall of Roe means that there's no "backup" in case of an unwanted pregnancy; and the final group is concerned that the Supreme Court will erode access to reproductive healthcare, so they’re getting vasectomies just in case.
Dr. Esgar Guarín, who is known for performing a vasectomy on himself, claimed that his Iowa-based clinic, SimpleVas, saw an amazing 250 percent increase in website traffic the weekend after Roe fell. He said that he typically performs around 40-50 vasectomies in a month, but this month he’s on track to do 100.
Monteith said that vasectomies often aren’t as painful as some men think, but they're still not fully reversible.
"They think they're going to be in significant pain, and that's not true. Most patients rate their pain a two the day after on a scale of one to ten," Monteith said. While vasectomies are typically reversible, reversal isn’t guaranteed, Monteith mentioned. In a study conducted by Arizona Urology, 97% of the men who had reversal procedures done within three years of their vasectomy achieved sperm in their semen, and 76% achieved pregnancy with their partner.
"I would never advise someone to get a vasectomy if they want to have more kids or think they will want to have kids," Monteith said.
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