Odd Enough: The bizarre reason these guys are getting vasectomies
"I would be hesitant to do a vasectomy on a bachelor," one doc says.
You probably think of a vasectomy as a procedure dads get when they’re done having kids, but there’s a new group of men who are getting them as well: Hamptons bachelors.
According to an article in the New York Post, several bachelors in the Hamptons are undergoing this form of male sterilization because they’re worried about women they sleep with trying to intentionally become pregnant.
“I had a vasectomy a few months ago," Scott, a 30-something model, said in the article. "Having a house in the Hamptons and being fairly well-off, I’ve encountered some problems—women try to get pregnant." He told stories about women who lied about being on birth control. “It’s a trick. [They say,] ‘I love you, [we] don’t need a condom,’” he says. Instead, he says they’re trying to have his baby so they can get 18 to 21 years of child support.
Another man who IDed himself as John, 34, recalled the story of how one woman offered to dispose of a used condom after sex, and he caught her in the bathroom trying to insert his semen into herself. “She denied it, but she tried to get herself pregnant,” said John. “After that, I have to be a lot more careful.”
He calls his vasectomy “insurance,” and, while incredibly intense, local urologists told the Post they hear this kind of story a lot.
But, while vasectomies can be reversed, they aren’t considered a temporary form of birth control. “It’s supposed to be permanent,” says Philip Werthman, M.D., a urologist and director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Vasectomy Reversal in Los Angeles. “We tell patients that they’re not reversible because we don’t want them going in and changing their mind.”
David Kaufman, M.D., director of Central Park Urology, a division of Maiden Lane Medical, says his patients have to undergo a 30-day wait after a vasectomy consultation to make sure it’s what they really want.
Despite how much it can do, birth control-wise, experts say the vasectomy procedure isn't very invasive. Kaufman uses a “no scalpel technique” that involves puncturing a hole in a man’s scrotum and cutting the vas deferens, the duct that moves sperm from a man’s testicles to his urethra. The ends are cauterized and tied off so that when a man ejaculates, his ejaculate doesn’t contain sperm.
Kevin Campbell, M.D., a board-certified urologist at The Urology Group, says he usually does vasectomies on Friday and tells his patients to take it easy for the rest of the day. Barring any strenuous exercise, they can go back to their normal routine the next day, he says. Then, men typically need to abstain from sex or ejaculating for about a week. They also need to follow up with a semen specimen two months later to make sure they’re in the clear.
Depending on a man’s health insurance, it can cost anywhere from nothing to several thousand dollars—Damon Davis, M.D., a urologist with the Michigan State University Health Team, says it really depends on a lot of factors.
Despite the new trend, Davis says that the typical vasectomy patient is someone who already has kids and doesn’t want to have more. Campbell agrees. “I would be hesitant to do a vasectomy on a bachelor unless he’s a 45-year-old bachelor who has three kids,” he says. “You can do reversals, but they don’t always work.”
Nilesh Patil, M.D., an associate professor of surgery at UC Health, specializing in urology, robotic surgery, prostate cancer, and urologic cancer, says reversals are “definitely possible” but more complex than getting a vasectomy. “It tends to be a more complicated procedure, and most insurance companies don’t cover it,” he says.
But despite the fact that vasectomies aren’t designed to be temporary forms of birth control, Werthman says he sees young, rich bachelors in LA get vasectomies, too. “I’ve seen this phenomenon for many years in Hollywood,” he says. “Quite a number of wealthy single men—film producers and celebrities—come in and get vasectomies because they are so nervous that they’re going to get somebody pregnant and they feel this is the only way they can control that destiny.”