In a health fad that has spread to include sports radio in Washington, D.C., some sports fans apparently have decided that March is the perfect time to undergo a vasectomy. The relatively simple surgical procedure, which urologists can perform in their offices, can result in minor discomfort. But advocates say men can offset this by scheduling the work so they can recuperate by becoming couch potatoes and watching the wall-to-wall basketball games that lead to the crowning of the NCAA national championship team.
An unnamed Warrenton, Va., fan recently won a “pre-operative assessment and consultation, the vasectomy procedure, and aftercare, including a semen analysis in two to three months,” from the DC CBS radio affiliate after going on air to explain that:
I’ve tried for a boy 4 times; having my 4th child in July. I’m 38 years old and was actually in the market for a procedure after our 3rd was born; the last one being a surprise. Thought it was an omen; it’s not. 4th girl due in July. I am the only male (including our female dog) in a household full of estrogen drama. A buddy of mine, my neighbor, has three girls, same ages as mine and is having a 4th a month before my 4th is due….his is a boy. I’m happy for him…really.
OK, so this isn’t an earth-shattering item. It does serve to remind that there are many different and effective ways to prevent unintended pregnancies with their serious effects of family lives. Vasectomy isn’t the most popular or most affordable contraceptive technique. It costs anywhere from $500 to $1,000, may not be covered by many insurers, and few women (5 percent or so) rely on men to have vasectomies for family planning. Vasectomies can be reversed, though this isn’t cheap and it doesn’t always work.
It’s a sad fact that among women 19 and younger, 4 out of 5 pregnancies were unintended, federal health experts say. They note that it often is a big challenge to get young men to talk about, understand, and to step up to their reproductive roles and responsibilities. Most of the conversation about contraception focuses on women, especially young women, although an estimated nine percent — or 900,000 — of young men between the ages of 12 and 16 will become fathers before their 20th birthday.
So, while they’re obsessing about the preternatural talents of collegians who can dribble and shoot, dads, grandads, uncles, cousins, poker pals, and drinking buddies might want to guffaw a bit and swap tales about where they saw the March Madness vasectomy trend story: Was it on ESPN or USA Today or Fortune magazine? And how about that story about the new app that shows promise for sperm testing? If all this guy talk also can provide men, young and old, with the chance for a little savvy discussion about doing the right things by and with their sexual partners, that’s a slam dunk.