Vasectomy Rates Increase After Roe v. Wade Overturn

In light of recent political developments, avoiding or terminating a pregnancy has become harder for women in the United States. Some men are taking action.
A male patient speaks with their doctor

A recent Supreme Court ruling has American men racing to get the snip.

Vasectomy procedures increased 30% nationwide following the June 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade, compared to the same time frame a year prior. In 11 states where abortion immediately became illegal following the overturn, the number of vasectomy procedures increased by 39%, according to a study conducted by Komodo Health.

The Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, revoking abortion as a constitutional right at the federal level. In Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 in favor of allowing individual states to regulate abortion.

As a result of the Supreme Court's recent decision, women in a number of socially conservative states have lost access to pregnancy termination resources, even in extreme cases. In response, more men are taking permanent measures to prevent conception at the source.

Historically, men have pursued vasectomies after completing their families. But in recent years, some men opt to undergo this medical procedure earlier, especially if they do not want biological children.

Vasectomies are a quick, permanent form of reproductive sterilization for men who do not want biological children. A vasectomy surgically severs the vas deferens tubes that transport sperm to semen, preventing people with sperm-producing body parts from impregnating partners with child-bearing body parts.

The procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia within 10 to 30 minutes, and is 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy six months post-surgery.

While vasectomies are a permanent form of birth control, they can be reversed with high success rates of up to 95%.

Thinking of getting a vasectomy? Here's what to know:

Most vasectomies are performed by urologists: Doctors who specialize in the urinary tract and male reproductive system. If you don't already work with a urologist, you can get a referral from your primary care provider. Your health insurance provider can also provide you with a list of specialists whose services are covered under your plan.

Before you can get a vasectomy, you'll need to schedule a consultation with your urologist to go over your health history as well as your overall mindset and candidacy. Once you are cleared for the procedure, the process itself is quite quick.

Understandably, many people are concerned about potential pain associated with this surgical procedure. Vasectomies are minimally invasive, performed under localized anesthesia and typically take no longer than 30 minutes to complete.

The most painful part of the surgery itself may be the initial injection of anesthesia, which is administered through a small needle.

After the vasectomy is complete and the anesthesia has worn off, you may experience bruising, swelling and pain for a few days. In most cases, wearing supportive clothing and ice packs should be sufficient to ease the discomfort within one to two days.

Contraception for women is considered a preventive health service under the Affordable Care Act. However, vasectomies are considered elective procedures, so insurance providers are not required to cover them for free. However, many insurance providers cover some or all of the cost, while some medical facilities may offer sliding-scale payment options.

If you pay for a vasectomy out of pocket, you can expect to spend up to $1,000, including follow-up care. With insurance, you may pay as little as $10 to $30 for your copay, or have the full cost covered under your policy.

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