March Madness Means Basketball, Pizza, and...Vasectomies?
March 17, 2012

March Madness Means Basketball, Pizza, and…Vasectomies?

The promotion promises guys a free pizza and a guilt-free way to watch the NCAA "March Madness" basketball tournament, with their wives' blessings. The only thing they have to do to take advantage of the offer? Get a vasectomy.

According to Jessica Pilot of the New York Daily News, the special offer comes courtesy of a Cape Cod, Massachusetts urology clinic, which is encouraging men to undergo the sterilization operation during a time where they can spend the two-to-seven days of required recovery time watching one of the biggest sporting events of the year -- the Division I college basketball championship playoffs.

"We wanted men to relax, and give them an excuse to watch the game," Evan Cohen, a practice coordinator at Urology Associates, told Pilot on Thursday. He added that the pizza promotion is "a much more fun and lighthearted way for couples to talk about contraception."

Telegraph reporter Rosa Prince says that the clinic's campaign includes a television commercial which shows "an attractive woman playing with a basketball," offering men a "guilt-free" way to watch the NCAA tournament.

She notes that Cohen told ABC News that while Urology Associates regularly only schedule 20-30 appointments each month, they typically see approximately 100 patients during the month of March.

The Cape Cod clinic is far from the only one who experiences such an massive influx coinciding with all of the hoops hoopla, USA Today's Kim Painter reported on Thursday-- a phenomenon she refers to as "vasectomy madness" and that dates back until at least 2008.

That year is when an Oregon-based facility began running their "Snip City" March Madness promotion, which this year is offering patients a "special recovery kit" including a tee-shirt, a pair of 3D glasses, an issue of the magazine Sports Illustrated, and a cooler.

"Why all the hoopla? It might have something to do with the fact that vasectomy--while a very safe and effective form of permanent birth control -- is not particularly popular," Painter said. "Rates went up a bit during the height of the recession in 2009, but lag far behind sterilization surgery rates for women."Half of women ages 40 to 44 have had such surgeries; just 20% of their male partners have."

"Will a few pizzas and T-shirts--coupled with an everyone-is-doing-it marketing blitz--close the deal? The Oregon clinic sees a 10% rise in surgeries during March, Mehlhaff says. The Cleveland Clinic sees a 50% rise, a doctor there says," the USA Today reporter added. "Other doctors tell the Detroit Free Press they see no such scramble. But, one says: 'Probably with the appropriate marketing, we can make it a trend.'"