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Considering a vasectomy this spring? Here’s what to know about this safe, effective method of birth control (other than the fact that you can recover while watching college hoops).
Is March Madness really a popular time to schedule a vasectomy?

Apparently yes, says Carvell T. Nguyen, MD, a urologic surgeon at MetroHealth. The idea is that if men scheduled their vasectomy — a procedure where a doctor snips and seals off the tubes that normally carry sperm — during college basketball playoff season, they’d have the perfect excuse to watch the games in peace as they recovered. And a marketing campaign was born.

In fact, data from 2018 showed vasectomies actually peaked in March and again just before the end of the year when patients had reached their insurance deductibles.

Whether you’re thinking of jumping on the March Madness bandwagon or waiting until later, here are some key things he’d like you to know. (Click the tabs to read more)

Vasectomies are very reliable.

Vasectomies are over 99% effective for preventing pregnancy. That said, no form of birth control is 100% effective. The chance of failure is tiny, about a 1 in 2,000 lifetime risk. Also, vasectomies do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Vasectomies are safe and less invasive than many other options.

The procedure is minimally invasive and poses very minimal risk, which is not true of many female birth control methods. The equivalent procedure for women – tubal ligation (having your tubes tied) – is far riskier for women than vasectomy is for men.

Most vasectomies are done in a doctor’s office.

About 85% of vasectomies happen in a doctor’s office, with just a local anesthetic. You may feel discomfort but rarely anything acute, and the whole procedure takes about 20 minutes.

A newer technique can make the procedure even easier.

Ask your doctor about a no-scalpel technique. Though the doctor will still need to make a puncture, it’s smaller. It heals more quickly and there is less pain and risk of complications. The technique performed has been around for about 15-20 years.

Getting a vasectomy is easy. Reversing one is more complicated.

It’s possible to reverse a vasectomy, but it’s a more complex, microsurgical procedure. It only has a 50% chance of success, and insurance may not cover it.

So be sure you’re ready, no matter how good the March Madness lineup looks.

MetroHealth delivers state-of-the-art care for patients with a wide range of urological conditions.

Learn more about Urology at MetroHealth or call to schedule an appointment 216-778-4391.