Number of vasectomies increase with economic downturn

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Doctor's offices in major metropolitan cities like Cleveland and New York have seen vasectomy requests increase as much as 50% since November.

"I hadn't actually considered it, but as much as my son gives me trouble, I might think about it sometimes," said Dwayne Williams.

Williams "number one" says Dwayne Williams "number two" is the youngest in his family of four. He says he and his wife have not thought about going as far as a vasectomy.

"It would be a stretch for me...definitely," he said.

But Meighan Davis says her husband has already had one.

"He had it reversed, and we just had our baby boy," said Davis. "He's two and half months old."

But for different reasons...

"I don't think you have to go through a vasectomy just because the economy's down," said Davis.

"We can see why it would be a trend," said Dr. Mark Greenberg, a urologist in Tyler.

He said the number of vasectomy patients is pretty consistent, but the concerns are understandable.

"[People are] worried about the future and worried about the economy and worried about how long this will last and worried about how long they will be able to raise and educate children," said Greenberg.

In 1960, a middle income family could expect to spend just over $25,000 raising a child through age 17, according to a USDA study. Nowadays, that number is closer to $204,000.

Dr. Sergio Moreira practices urology in Nacogdoches. He says his office actually has seen an increase in people interested in the nearly half-hour procedure.

"[It is] possibly due to the current recession that we're facing," said Moreira.

For him, that raises another concern.

"If the economy in a few years gets better, are we going to see more people trying to reverse those vasectomies," said Moreira.

"It's our definite hope that the economy is going to improve and people will be able to have as many children as they want," said Greenberg.

...and can afford....

"No, they're not cheap by any means," said Davis.

But, only economic time will tell.

One of the doctors we spoke with said even though the procedure is reversible, it should be considered permanent. Most insurance companies won't cover reversals - which are more expensive.