MERIDIAN, Idaho — Since the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade nearly two weeks ago, Treasure Valley urology centers are seeing an increase in the number of people taking action to help avoid unwanted pregnancies.
"Initially, we didn't see any difference through June," said Dr. John Greer, a urologist with Idaho Urology Institute. "But we are now seeing a pretty significant upswing in the number of consults for vasectomies, as well as scheduled procedures."
Greer said from the preliminary numbers of the Institute's first week and a half since the decision, they are seeing about a 60% increase.
"It very well may be more than a 60% increase," Greer said. "It's hard to look at just a single week there to determine that."
This week alone they have had 67 consultations, which is more than six times the number of consultations they had during the first week of last July.
"The majority of men that get vasectomies are still in the child-rearing age (25-45 year-olds)," Greer said. "Their wives are still at the age where they can conceive, and therefore they need the protection of a vasectomy to prevent future pregnancies."
Located just up the street from the Institute is Treasure Valley Urology, where Urologist Dr. Jared Heiner said he's seeing similar trends.
"Maybe 10 or 14 days ago, our schedulers at the end of the day commented, 'Wow we sure saw a ton of people calling in for vasectomies today,'" Heiner said. "That night we saw the headline about the Dobbs decision which overturned Roe V. Wade. Since then there's been quite an increase in the volume of people calling interested about getting a vasectomy."
Heiner said before the SCOTUS decision, he typically performed 10-15 vasectomies in a week. Now he is seeing double that number and expects to see the same over the next month.
"Younger couples in their 30s is kind of the big demographic that's pursuing that," Heiner said. He added a majority of the people that called or scheduled an appointment do not have kids, do not plan to have kids or are already parents that do not want to have a larger family.
Both the urologist centers expect to schedule vasectomies more than normal for the next few months.
"We are rapidly getting booked up with appointments," Greer said. "But that being said, given the current political climate, we're adjusting accordingly to make sure that we can handle the increased volume."
However, the urologists do not agree on how long trends will continue into the fall.
"I think the further away we go get from this recent news of the supreme court decision, I think that it'll taper back down to normal," Heiner said.
"As more people become aware of the ramifications of what's happening politically. We anticipate that number may grow," Greer said.
Both Greer and Heiner are reminding those considering a vasectomy that the reversal procedure is not always 100 percent successful and effective. They urge people to strongly consider the decision if someone chooses to get a vasectomy.
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