There’s candy for Valentine’s Day and fireworks for the Fourth of July, but how should one celebrate the annual NCAA basketball tournaments, which are a bright spot for so many hoops fans during the long winter months? How about with a vasectomy?
That might sound kind of…crazy (chocolate is so much easier to wrap), but more and more men are scheduling their sterilization procedure around college basketball as a way to get zero side-eye from their partners or employers while chilling on the couch watching the games. Talk about March Madness.
While getting a vasectomy is a relatively quick procedure— about 30 minutes’ time in a urologist’s office—it does require a two-day recovery period. Experts recommend that men take it easy post-vasectomy to promote healing of the testicles after they’ve gotten the snip, and to prevent any swelling that might arise from overexertion. The solution: plenty of icing (cue the bags of frozen eas) and rest (also, don’t even think about having sex for about a week #ouch).
“Major sporting events are a popular time for men to schedule a vasectomy because we advise them to take it easy for two to three days after the procedure,” Jim Dupree, M.D., assistant professor of urology at Michigan Medicine, told Michigan Health. The University of Michigan surgery center in Livonia has expanded vasectomy services in anticipation of the March Madness rush.
“For most men, this means sitting on the couch in front of their television, and sporting events offer them something to watch while resting,” said Dupree.
So where exactly does March Madness fit in?
About 10 years ago, an Oregon-based urology clinic started running radio spots promoting March Madness specials called “Snip City” for men considering a vasectomy, and the news spread like wildfire. Media outlets across the country started reporting on the alleged trend, but then it actually did start to trend, as urologists from California to North Carolina started offering their own Vas Madness packages. But some remained unconvinced that vasectomy rates rose because of basketball.
“Did marketing lead to urban legend and urban legend lead to fact?” asked Dr. Thomas Walsh, the director at UW Medicine Men’s Health Center in Seattle, who spoke to USA Today’s For The Win. Walsh decided to analyze stats and determined in the end that he thought that was indeed the case.
Walsh looked at private insurance data between 2007 and 2013 to compare when vasectomies were performed and found the biggest spike in December, which he attributed to men taking advantage of reaching deduction limits before the end of the calendar year. But to his surprise, the second largest spike in vasectomies actually happened in March.
“We can’t say this is cause and effect, and I can’t tell you it’s caused by March Madness,” Walsh said. “We had a very specific question, which was to say what are the month by month trends we see in vasectomy, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we see this spike in March.”
March Madness vasectomy specials are a thing.
Fast-forward to 2021 and urologists are still offering March Madness vasectomy specials.
“All you want to do is sit around and watch the games,” observes Anne Arundel Urology on its Facebook page. “If only you had a good excuse.” The Annapolis-based clinic is more than happy to give men a reason, with its Vas Madness special that offers a “bag of fun” to patients to enjoy post-vasectomy while watching the games.
Of course, basketball’s not the only game in town.
Is the prospect of watching hours of college basketball not enough to make you want to drop your drawers? Don’t worry—there are alternatives to that.
- The Masters: There’s still time to schedule your vasectomy on Thursday and then sit back and watch every drive and putt leading up to the final round on Sunday
- U.S. Open: Get thee clipped sometime during the country’s biggest tennis tournament and get a front- row seat to the action
- NFL Playoffs: Prefer pigskin to the links? Schedule your vasectomy around one of the big football weekends leading up to the Super Bowl.
Still not tempted? There are tons of other sporting events that might entice you—everything from horse racing and baseball to weight lifting and rugby. And of course, there’s always good old Netflix (or HBO, Hulu, and Amazon) to keep you entertained during recovery.
No matter what floats your bingeing boat, after you do go through with your vasectomy, you’ll want to make sure it’s been effective before even considering having unprotected sex—unless you don’t mind risking an unwanted pregnancy. SpermCheck is a convenient, over-the-counter kit that lets your monitor your sperm count (which takes about 3 months—or 20 ejaculations—to drop) in the comfort of your home.
But if college hoops are your thing, scheduling your vasectomy during the NCAA tournament could be a slam dunk.