Reproductive rights

Doctors Report Increase in Vasectomies Amid Reproductive Rights Debate

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The number of men getting vasectomies appears to be increasing.

It comes at a time when reproductive rights are in the spotlight. Doctors say that’s no coincidence.

Jordan Castro, 28, of Houston, says he's always planned on adopting a child. He decided last September to get a vasectomy, a form of male birth control.

“No regrets. I'm really happy with what I did,” Castro told NBC 5.

Castro says he went through with the procedure to help prevent unwanted pregnancy. He says the so-called Texas Heartbeat Bill banning abortions after six weeks influenced his decision. The law took effect on Sept. 1, 2021.

“For me, all those jumbled together kind of made me pull the trigger on the decision,” Castro said.

Google Analytics shows searches for the word "vasectomy" more than doubled the week the Heartbeat Bill took effect. Searches spiked again in early May 2022 after a draft opinion leaked showing the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade.

“It’s entered the forefront of people's thought processes,” said Dr. Koushik Shaw, founder of the Austin Urology Institute.

Clinics in Dallas and Austin say they're performing more vasectomies. Shaw said more than a half-million are performed annually in the U.S., and numbers at his four clinics in the Austin area increased 15-20% in the first quarter.

“We're seeing this uptick as we have conversations with patients in terms of what's bringing you in today, that new legislation both state and nationwide is really prompting people to take action,” Shaw said.

After taking action, Castro shared his experience on Facebook. It’s been viewed and shared hundreds of thousands of times, “Which I did not expect that at all,” he said.

Castro says he hopes his story contributes to a conversation more men seem to be having.

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