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Quick Dose: Why Do Men Schedule Vasectomies in March?

The answer is simple: Basketball.

Many men choose to have vasectomies during the month of March to coincide with a certain men’s college basketball tournament. (December is a close runner-up, when health insurance deductibles have been met.) Post-surgery infections are rare, but physicians still recommend taking it easy for a few days after to avoid complications and soothe the swelling and soreness, making sitting on the couch (with a bag of frozen peas) just what the doctor ordered.

Limitations – which restrict heavy lifting, sex and strenuous physical activities – stay in place for another week to 10 days, providing an excuse for the second weekend of the tournament, though you will be able to return to work during this time. If the pain is really bad, your physician may prescribe painkillers and you will need to avoid any alcohol while taking medication.

It’s also important to know that you are not sterile right after the vasectomy, so use temporary birth control to prevent any championship babies if your alma mater goes on a run. Schedule a follow-up semen analysis to confirm that no sperm are present approximately three months or 30 ejaculations after your vasectomy. Almost half of all men skip this simple follow-up appointment and while most vasectomies are successful 99.9 percent of the time, this is one step you shouldn’t avoid.

Nelson Bennett, MD, urologist, Northwestern Memorial Hospital