Vasectomies on the Rise - A Sign of the Times?

Filed under: Just For Dads, Sex

scalpelFor some parents, making the decision to stop having kids is a tough one. It's a door that some just want to leave open ... just in case. But if there's one thing that a pessimistic economy makes simpler, it's that question: "Should we or shouldn't we?"

Urologists are reporting an uptick in vasectomies the last few months, especially since stocks dropped in November. "They realize they don't have the financial security long-term with what's going on," urologist Dr. J. Stephen Jones told CNN. "Several of them have mentioned, 'We can't afford to have any more children in this economy.' My perception is that it's more of the concept of raising children in an uncertain economic future."

Losing jobs mean losing income, making it difficult to raise the family you already have. But it also means losing health insurance, another possible reason that dads are turning to vasectomies. "I can't count on my hands, in the last three months, the number of times someone has said they're about to lose their insurance and ask to squeeze them in," Dr. Bryan Kansas told CNN.

Even without insurance, a vasectomy is a cost-effective permanent birth control method. At $500 to $1000, it adds up to significantly less than other forms of contraception a person might use during their remaining childbearing years. Birth control pills run $20 to $50 a month -- or $12,000 over the course of 20 years. The average cost of condoms would vary by brand and frequency, of course, but at a box a month, a 20-year supply would cost about $2,800.

The drawback of a vasectomy, besides the pain and suffering (which my husband says I did not factor in to the above estimates), is that it's permanent. Reversals are expensive and have a 50 percent success rate. So parents who aren't 100 percent sure their family is complete might want to stick with a method that will leave them options when the economy finally rebounds.

Has the economy had an effect on your family planning?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.