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Dear Male Readers:
Please help us figure out if this phenomenon is real:
Researchers gathered in Boston for a meeting of the International Federation of Fertility Societies and American Society for Reproductive Medicine were presented with this provocative but non-published nor peer-reviewed theory: the financial meltdown of 2008 (and the subsequent slow economic recovery) are driving more men to get vasectomies.
...researchers looked at the numbers of men having vasectomies at their facility in Wisconsin from June 2005 through October 2012. They also tracked the median income in Wisconsin during those years and the median U.S. income.
"We found as the median income for Wisconsin declined, the rate of vasectomies annually went up," Dr. Anand Shridharani, a men's reproductive and sexual health specialist at Erlanger Health System, in Knoxville, Tenn said. In 2005, 91 men had a vasectomy and the median state income was $54,269. In 2010, 239 men had a vasectomy and the income had dropped to $50,547.
"Comparing the number of vasectomies performed per year from 2005 to 2008 versus 2009 to 2012, the difference [an increase] is statistically significant," Shridharani said.
"The suspected reason is that having an unexpected child would increase the cost of living," he noted. "People are having children older, and older people are more in tune with what children cost," Shridharani suggested...
One expert not involved with the new study said that while the state of the economy definitely has an effect on family planning, the study does not prove definitely that it was the driver for vasectomy request.
But back in 2009, U.S. News and World Report jumped on a similar "recession vasectomy" theory noting that "doctors around the United States are reporting a sharp increase in the number of vasectomies performed since the economy soured..." Here's more from that report:
Their best guess is that the trend is due both to a decreased desire to have children because of the expense involved, and an increased desire to get such medical procedures done before their jobs — and health insurance — disappear.
Since November, Dr. Marc Goldstein, surgeon-in-chief of male reproductive medicine and surgery at the Cornell Institute for Reproductive Medicine in New York City, said his practice has seen about 48 percent more vasectomy consultations compared to the same time the previous year.
Nearly 50 percent of the patients in 2008 were employed within the financial industry, and more than 36 percent were seen since September, according to unpublished data from the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Microsurgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Goldstein said his appointment secretary was the first to notice the uptick in the number of men requesting vasectomy consultations.
"I used to do one to two every Friday," he said. "Now I'm doing three on Fridays. There's been a significant increase."
Please share you vasectomy story (but not too much of it) and let us know if your decision was financially induced.
This program aired on October 15, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.
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