Vasectomy procedures spike during March Madness

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (WPVI) -- With the NCAA Tournament, there's a lot of basketball this week.

And according to some doctors, a lot of vasectomies, too.

Between 2014 and 2016, the Cleveland Clinic noted a 10 percent increase in sterilization procedures right before the tournament.

At the urging of their wives, three Los Angeles-area men, whose families were complete, had theirs on the same day.

They jokingly call themselves "vasca-teers."

"You know, if we're all going to do it, might as well do it all together. You know, making an experience out of it," says Basilio Santangelo.

"Doing it all together with my friends really helped a lot," says Paul Diaz.

The Diaz family initiated the process after a pregnancy scare.

Paul and wife Lisa talked about a vasectomy but, like many men, he was reluctant to go to the doctor.

Lisa and the other wives, who are friends, got to talking, and came up with the 'all-together' idea.

Only 1 in 10 men eligible for a vasectomy in the U.S. has one - half the rate in Canada or the U.K.

Yet compared to the more popular sterilization surgery for women, vasectomies are quicker, safer and require less recovery time.

"We talk about women's health, and most of it focuses around reproductive issues, but guys are a part of that equation, and they are a part of that discussion as well," says Dr. Jesse Mills of UCLA Health.

Dr. Mills says while three men together getting vasectomies is unusual, he's noticed more men are teaming up, to give each other buddy support.

The three Los Angeles man not only decided to have their procedure on the same day, they decided to be very open about it.

Diaz says, "I don't think it's something to be ashamed of. On the contrary, I think by choosing to do this, you're being responsible."

John Lambrechts noted, "Once I was a little bit more open in the office and I'd mentioned it to a couple of my co-workers, then they started like, 'Oh, you know something, maybe I'll do that.' "

Doctors say men happen to choose March Madness so they can easily take time off and spend a long weekend recovering and watching basketball.

Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.