According to the Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit, academic medical center in Ohio, this month the number of vasectomies will go up 50%. The increase is related to a sporting event known as “March Madness,” which is a month long college basketball tournament. The connection between these two seemingly disparate things – a procedure that ensures a man can no longer fertilize an egg and a sports competition – is accounted for by a simple fact: sports watching entails a lot of relaxin’ and lounging around, and what better time to do that than after you got part of your balls cut and you need to take it easy?
The history of March Madness-inspired vasectomies goes back to 2008, when the Oregon Urology Institute’s marketing team wrote a spot that aired on a local sports radio talk show. Within a few days, the The CBS Early Show ran a brief story profiling the practice and the radio ad, which guaranteed a free pizza and a bag of frozen peas to all patients.
Another notable campaign is that of the Urology Team in Austin, Texas. This practice was already notorious because it includes Dr. Richard Chopp, whose last name if amusing because it sounds the same as the word “chop.” When patients get a vasectomy there, they receive a shirt that says “I got Chopped at the Urology Team.”
Many other practices followed suit, so much so that some got in trouble for using March Madness trademark phrases in their ad campaigns, according to a report in American Medical News.
Vasectomies are an easy, popular, and affordable way way to prevent pregnancies. According to the National Institute of Health, nearly 500,000 men get them each year.