Vasectomy requests rise in Cleveland, elsewhere following new abortion restrictions

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — The burden of family planning appears to be shifting, at least slightly, from women to men following the Supreme Court’s abortion rights decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

More and more men are scheduling appointments for vasectomies.

The Cleveland Clinic reports that requests for scheduling vasectomies over the past week are about five times higher than they would normally see. Typically, the clinic says it receives three to four requests a day, but within five days of the decision, it registered a total of 90.

At the University Hospitals, demands are also on the rise, and the hospital says it saw an increase following the leak of the court’s draft decision in May.

The increase in calls and online queries is not limited to large hospitals.

Scheduling Coordinators at Southwest Urology in Middleburg Heights, Elyria and Medina and Central Ohio Urology Group in the Columbus area, confirmed that they have also seen a noticeable increase in interest in vasectomy procedures over the past few days.

On Monday morning, a planning manager at Central Ohio Urology counted 25 new inquiries from the weekend. The clinic says that on a typical weekend, he might see two or three at most.

“I didn’t realize why at first, but now it makes sense,” one planner told cleveland.com.

It remains to be seen whether these numbers are just passing fluctuations or will remain high in the long term, but they are clearly part of a larger national trend.

Multiple outlets including Time.com previously reported data showing an increase in Google searches for vasectomies following last month’s leak of the draft opinion. Searches for tubal ligation and birth control have also reportedly increased, they said.

Urology clinics across the country began reporting increases in investigations and scheduled vasectomies in the days following the court’s final ruling — and not just in states like Ohio, Tennessee and Texas where the Abortion is prohibited or severely restricted.

Doctors in California – a state where abortions are expected to remain available – are also reporting increases. Los Angeles urologist Philip Werthman told The Daily Beast he’s seen a ‘300-400%’ increase in vasectomy consultations.

A significant number of these men cite the Supreme Court decision as the reason for finally going under the knife, a Florida urologist told the Washington Post.

“A lot of guys say they’ve been thinking about a vasectomy for a while, and the Roe vs. Wade The decision was just that last factor that tipped them off and forced them to submit the registration online,” urologist David Stein told the Post.

After Texas heartbeat law went into effect in September 2021, Dr. Koushik Shaw, of Austin Urology Institute said his practice had seen about a 15% to 20% increase in vasectomy requests, but that was nothing compared to the day of the court ruling. Shaw said he received about 70 phone calls for vasectomies within an hour of the decision, and their total call volume for the day doubled.

“When the decision was made, it was sort of a steering wheel. It was probably the busiest I had ever seen,” Shaw recalled.

Shaw says his patients don’t specifically cite the Supreme Court decision as the reason for their vasectomy, but he thinks the lack of access to abortion speeds up the decision-making process for men who don’t want one. children or who have already completed their family. .

“Women usually handle birth control. Guys don’t usually talk about it or ask questions. But, all of a sudden, everyone is talking about it now. It brings those conversations to the fore and they say, hey, if there’s a failure – if the condom breaks – you’ve just lost one of your options.

And for the right patient, Shaw said, a vasectomy is an excellent option. It has a low failure rate, few side effects, and is often covered by insurance.

“There are no sexual side effects, no erectile dysfunction, no orgasm-related problems, no ejaculatory pain. … So really, there are no long term side effects to getting a vasectomy. It’s done in the office in about 20 minutes, do it on a Friday and you’re back to work on Monday,” he said.

The most important consideration? It is permanence.

Vasectomies are reversible, but they typically only have 90 to 95 percent success rates, Shaw said, so they’re not a good choice for men who only want temporary birth control and think that there is a chance that they will want children later.

“It’s not a ‘Hey, we’re not going to get pregnant for 5 years and then we’ll turn it around,'” Shaw said. “Take it seriously.”

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