Healthy Living

Why Vasectomies Surge During March Madness

Mar. 18, 2024
And Your Main Vasectomy Questions Answered by an Expert

March Madness isn't just a great time of year for basketball; it's also a prime season for vasectomies.

UR Medicine data reveals a significant increase in vasectomy procedures during tournament time. David Gentile, MD, Chief of the Department of Urology at Highland Hospital, has a theory why, and he answers the questions about vasectomies he hears most.

What is a vasectomy?

Vasectomy illustration

It’s a simple surgical procedure that interrupts the vas deferens, the tube responsible for carrying sperm from the testicles to the urethra. By blocking this pathway, the procedure stops the sperm from entering semen.

The short, straightforward procedure has a quick recovery. The procedure takes about 15 minutes and only causes mild discomfort. Almost everyone walks out saying, “That was a lot easier than I thought!”

Comparatively, vasectomies are safer and less invasive than tubal ligation, or “tying a woman’s tubes.” It’s a very effective option for permanent birth control for couples.

Can a vasectomy be reversed?

Usually—but there's no guarantee. You shouldn’t think of a vasectomy as a temporary method of birth control. And reversal procedures can be costly—$16,000 to $20,000 in Monroe County—and generally are not covered by insurance.

Why do the number of vasectomies increase during March Madness?

We tell patients they should plan on going home and putting their feet up after a vasectomy. So timing the procedure to watching some games while you recover works well. And it’s a great excuse to watch without interruption, as you won’t be able to do physical labor around the house while you’re recovering.

We also saw an uptick in vasectomies after the reversal of Roe v. Wade. More unmarried men with no children made appointments. Even here in New York, where abortion is still legal, we saw a change.

UR Vasectomies in 2023 depicted on a graph

Does a vasectomy affect sex drive?

No, a vasectomy has no effect on libido or erectile function. Libido in men is a result of testosterone, which is produced by the testicles. Testosterone leaves the testicles by the veins, not by the vas deferens, so sex drive is not affected by a vasectomy.


For more information on vasectomies, contact a UR Medicine urology health provider to schedule a consultation.

UR Medicine Urology