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Published March 22 2012

Morast: March Madness is also vasectomy madness

The most remarkable thing I’ve learned over the past week is this: March Madness isn’t just a time for basketball junkies to get strung-out on hoops; it’s also a popular time of the year to get a vasectomy.

Now, for the record, I don’t know this from experience.

But according to various media reports that seemed to all originate from some stats dished out by the Cleveland Clinic, vasectomy procedures go up by 50 percent during the NCAA basketball tournament, otherwise known as March Madness.

The rationale, though a bit ridiculous, makes some sense.

Apparently men who have been planning to get sterilized wait until just before the NCAA tourna-ment so they can “recover” by watching two to four days of basketball while sitting on a couch and, possibly, drinking beer and eating pizza.

To further push the point, urology clinics across the States carry March Madness vasectomy promotions that provide patients everything from pizza gift certificates to coolers – for ice and cold drinks – during their convalescence.

I’m not aware of any similar promotions in Fargo-Moorhead, but there is a little evidence showing that our local urologists see a minor spike in business during March and April.

Sanford Health couldn’t provide a urologist to talk about this subject – presumably, they’re busy sterilizing men. But the health organization did provide some stats.

The numbers show that 464 vasectomies were done in Sanford’s Fargo and Bemidji properties in 2011. That breaks down to an average of 38 vasectomies per month. March and April of 2011 each had 51 vasectomies.

It’s a jump. Not a major jump, but enough evidence for me to think there’s some merit to March Madness being Vasectomy Season.

More interesting, though, is that December appears to be the most popular time for men to get the ol’ snip-snip.

Again, Sanford’s 2011 stats show December was the busiest of the year with 65 vasectomies.

Anecdotally, it’s the same situation in Detroit where a recent Free Press article quoted a doctor saying the final month of the year is the busiest time for vasectomies.

I have no idea why that is.

But all this writing about vasectomies does remind me of a couple things:

• Vasectomy aside I: While attending Bismarck State College I heard stories of a retired veterinarian in Bismarck who gave himself a vasectomy by placing a mirror on the floor and going to work. I like to think he did this while watching college basketball games.

• Vasectomy aside II: My father was riding a horse and competing in a rodeo one day after getting his vasectomy. But he’s a Western North Dakota cowboy; those guys don’t even grimace during vasectomies – no matter the month.

Readers can reach Forum Features Editor Robert Morast at (701) 241-5518

or rmorast@forumcomm.com