One Northwest clinic estimated they would end 2022 having performed 30% more vasectomies than they did in 2019.
PORTLAND, Oregon — When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, the decision allowed many states to greatly restrict abortion access.
While Oregon and Washington aren’t poised to follow suit, it appears a growing number of men who live in the two states are getting proactive about birth control by seeking out vasectomies.
“Neither one of us are planning on having kids, and [my wife] has never planned on having kids,” said Grant Knutson, talking about his decision to get a vasectomy. “We knew this would be the safest most efficient, long-term method, but we just always put it on the back burner. It was never the priority.”
Knutson said that changed after the Supreme Court’s decision.
“It kind of lit a fire under us. It made it a priority for me,” Knutson said. “I still don’t have any trust in my mind that this is where anti-abortion people want to stop.”
Within days of the ruling, Knutson called a vasectomy clinic. He learned that due to COVID, there was already a backlog before the ruling created a sudden spike in demand. Knutson, who splits his time between Portland and Seattle, tracked down an open appointment in Seattle due to a cancellation.
“Did the three-hour drive to get up to the vasectomy clinic at 10 a.m. in the morning,” Knutson said. “Got that done that day so I wouldn’t have to wait three to four months out because of this rush.”
Shrikesh Majithia is the CEO of the Dr.Snip The Vasectomy Clinic. Majithia said they’re also experiencing a spike in interest from patients.
“From July onwards, we’ve seen just an astronomical increase in inquiries,” Majithia said. “What we’re finding now is more men who are concerned about their spouse’s options for sterility or family planning are willing to come through and at least inquire about vasectomy more than ever before.”
Dr.Snip is based in Seattle and opened a second location in Portland earlier this year. Majithia said in 2019, they performed 3,000 vasectomies. He expects that number to hit 4,000 by the end of this year, a trend he said is reflected in other clinics, nationwide. Majithia said Dr.Snip is able to get patients in right away, but cautions anyone considering a vasectomy to think it through.
“A lot of men think that it’s reversible, and it is, but only about 50% to 60% of the time is it successful,” Majithia said. “So at Dr.Snip, we don’t preach that that’s something you can do and then come back. We want to make sure you’re ready for this as a final, permanent procedure and we’ll see you at that time.”
Knutson said he doesn’t want his decision to influence other men to do the same, but he hopes it encourages them to talk about and own their role in birth control.
“Males being as involved as possible around birth control decisions have always been lacking,” Knutson said.