Purpose It was theorized that the use of permanent contraceptive methods may vary with economic conditions. We evaluated the relationship between vasectomy/vasectomy reversal frequencies at several large referral centers and national economic indicators during 2 recessions spanning 2001 to 2011. Materials and Methods We performed an institutional review board approved, retrospective chart review to identify the number of vasectomies/vasectomy reversals per month at several large referral centers from January 2001 to July 2011. The rates of these procedures were pooled, correlated with national economic data and analyzed in a multivariate linear regression model. Results A total of 4,599 vasectomies and 1,549 vasectomy reversals were performed at our institutions during the study period. The number of vasectomies per month positively correlated with the unemployment rate (r = 0.556, p <0.001) and personal income per capita (r = 0.276, p = 0.002). The number of reversals per month negatively correlated with the unemployment rate (r = -0.399, p <0.001) and personal income per capita (r = -0.305, p <0.001). Neither vasectomy nor vasectomy reversal frequency significantly correlated with the inflation rate or the S&P 500®. Regression models confirmed that the unemployment rate explained more of the variance in vasectomy/vasectomy reversal frequencies than other indicators. Conclusions We noted a correlation between the number of vasectomies/vasectomy reversals performed at our institutions and national economic indicators. The strongest association was with the unemployment rate. This points to the importance of financial pressure on family planning decisions.
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