Many men choose March to get a vasectomy so they can recover while watching the NCAA tournament, experts told VERIFY.
The month of March is known for many things: the beginning of spring, the beginning Summer time, St. Patrick’s Day, and March Madness, the biggest college basketball tournament of the year. While the tournament’s “First Four” kicked off on March 14, the madness ramps up on Thursday and Friday as 32 games are split into the first round.
But some people claim that March is also known for another thing – vasectomies.
Several health organizations the hashtag was used across the country #VasMadness while advancing the routine before the NCAA tournament. Even the food manufacturer Jack Links Jerky tweeted on the subject. The company launched a “Tender meat for tender meat” relief package for people who had a vasectomy before the tournament.
VERIFY looked into whether March Madness really is a popular time to get a vasectomy procedure.
Is March a popular month for vasectomy?
Yes, March is a popular month for vasectomy. Experts say March Madness is the main reason for the dramatic increase in the number of people undergoing the procedure.
WHAT WE FOUND
The North Texas Urology Clinic says of the approximately 500,000 men in the US who have a vasectomy during the year, a large percentage of them do so in March.
Vasectomy is a medical sterilization procedure which prevents the sperm from reaching the sperm. To perform a vasectomy, a urologist removes a small portion of the vas deferens, or vas deferens, in both testicles. After vasectomy, The Mayo Clinic says the person will need to rest for 24 hours after surgery and avoid any strenuous activity for three days.
Because vasectomy takes several days to heal and rest is necessary, many men have it during March Madness so they can watch basketball while they recover. This is reported on the website of the North Texas Urological Clinic. Austin Urology, another Texas clinic, also reported tournament is a popular time to be circumcised.
The combination of March Madness and vasectomy started as a marketing ploy, Ajay Nangia, MD, a urologist at the University of Kansas Health System, told VERIFY.
Nangia believes the trend started in the early to mid-2000s, when another urologist used the tournament to get more sports fans through the clinic’s doors. After that, in the same way some businesses offer pizza specials during a college tournament, other urologists began offering discounted vasectomy.
“And then it took off, causing other doctors to do it, then the media picked it up, then it became, you know, a vicious cycle of ‘what’s fact, what’s fiction.’ And initially it was much more sensational, but it actually started to become true. An urban legend that actually became true,” Nangia said about the trend.
2018 study in Urology Gold Journal also found that from 2007 to 2015, March and the end of the year — when the insurance deductible was met — had the highest proportion of vasectomies. Nangia believes that the surge in vasectomies in March, as reported in this study, can be attributed to marketing ploys to attract more patients ahead of March Madness.
My Vasectomy Doc, a clinic in Spartanburg, South Carolina, has message on your home page which says, “Come see us at My Vasectomy Doc for a needle- and scalpel-free vasectomy just in time for March Madness opening weekend!”
And other brands, not just Jack Links Jerky, are trying to get in on the act. Twisted Tea is offering VasectomUndies during March Madness. Instead of the traditional frozen bag of peas during recovery, the boxers are designed to keep cold drinks close to your nether regions while you watch the tournament.
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