The basketball court is not the only place for March Madness this week. At this time of year, many urologists see a deluge of requests from men seeking a vasectomy.
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Many men plan a vasectomy for this week with an eye toward watching the NCAA basketball tournament all weekend while they recuperate, says urologist Edmund Sabanegh, MD, Chair of Urology at Cleveland Clinic.
“We see a lot of men who have held off scheduling this until a time of year when they know that they can have some down time – when they can watch television or do something else of interest,” Dr. Sabanegh says.
The procedure’s goal is to make a man unable to father a child. A vasectomy blocks the tube through which sperm passes into the semen. Out-patient techniques make the procedure quicker and safer and create less discomfort.
The procedure is highly effective, takes about 15 minutes and requires about 24 hours for recovery. Patients must apply ice to the area for a while afterward.
Recuperate and watch hoops – doctor’s orders
It just so happens that recuperating from a vasectomy – lying around and not doing anything too physically demanding – meshes perfectly with binge-watching college hoops.
“Typically they should take it easy on the couch,” Dr. Sabanegh says. “They will have an ice bag, too, for about six hours on and off. And they should not do anything strenuous for a short period of time.”
The number of requests to schedule a vasectomy increases around other big sporting events too, he says.
“We tend to see surges around March Madness for the tournament,” he says. “And we tend to see surges around the Super Bowl.”
Not a permanent choice
About 50 million men in the U.S. have had a vasectomy. That number corresponds to roughly 5 percent of all married couples of reproductive age.
When a man chooses to have a vasectomy, it may feel like a permanent choice. But it’s not.
Most men are candidates for vasectomy reversal, a simple procedure that allows them to start or expand a family.