Google searches for the term “vasectomy” reached peak popularity in July 2022, the month the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and ended the constitutional right to abortion in the United States. It appears that many people followed up on their search. The Dobbs ruling, which overturned Roe, accounted for a 17% jump in the following six months and an increase of 29% between July and September, according to an Economist extimate based on insurance claims data compiled by health-tech company Komodo Health. The surge in vasectomies also varied by state: conservative states, particularly those that made abortions highly restricted post-Dobbs, had a higher increase in procedures than other states.
If you were one of the seven guys who didn’t Google “vasectomy,” how it works is basically a doctor either cuts or blocks the vas deferens, the tube that delivers sperm from the testicles to the penis. If you have a vasectomy, you’ll still ejaculate semen, but the sperm produced by your testes will be absorbed by your body, so you can’t get anyone pregnant.
The procedure is quite popular: Even prior to the decision, more than half a million men in the U.S. opt for a vasectomy every year, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Vasectomies are quick, low-risk and often reversible (though the Mayo Clinic says they should be considered a permanent form of birth control) that some might even consider a romantic gift for a loved one. (In clinical evidence of dudes rocking, March is known as “vasectomy season,” because a guy can get snipped and spend the next day or so recovering while watching the NCAA tournament.)
One doctor told The Economist that men coming to their practice for vasectomies generally fell under three categories. One group worried that without access to abortion, this was their only fallback if contraception failed. Others finally made the leap after considering vasectomies for a while, in case the Supreme Court decided this medical procedure could be banned, too. The last group viewed their vasectomy as a gesture of solidarity with women.
If you’re considering the procedure yourself, GQ spoke to multiple guys to hear what t
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The Post-Roe Vasectomy Boom Is Real