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Recession May Have Led to Half a Million Vasectomies

October 20 , 2014
by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM Press Release

Honolulu, Hawaii – Research presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s 70th Annual Meeting indicated that the great recession of 2007-2009 led to an increase in vasectomy rates among American men.

Investigators from  Weill Cornell Medical College examined survey data from the National Survey for Family Growth (NSFG) to examine the impact of the economic downturn on men’s decisions about having children. The NSFG is a phone survey of over 10,000 men from across the US taken between 2006 and 2010. After the recession, men were found to have lower income, were more often without health insurance, and less likely to be employed fulltime. While there was no change in the proportion of men who expressed a desire to have more children, men interviewed after the recession planned on having fewer children than those interviewed before the recession.

During the recession, American men found themselves in worse economic circumstances than before it. Prior to the recession, 3.9% of men reported having had a vasectomy, following the recession, 4.4% had. The researchers estimated that this meant an additional 150,000 to 180,000 men had vasectomies in each year of the recession.

“Whether it’s successful hunting or having a good job, economics has played a role in having children throughout human history. This study shows us that economics still affects human reproduction in the 21st century,” stated Rebecca Z. Sokol, MD, MPH, President of the ASRM.

O-31  BB Najari et al, “National Vasectomy Rates and Family Planning Attitudes After The Great Recession” 

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, founded in 1944, is an organization of more than 7,000 physicians, researchers, nurses, technicians and other professionals dedicated to advancing knowledge and expertise in reproductive biology.  Affiliated societies include the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, the Society of Reproductive Surgeons and the Society of Reproductive Biologists and Technologists. 

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