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Economic Downturn Triggers Rise in Number of Vasectomies

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The country’s financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing slow economic recovery is not just having an impact on men’s wallets -- it’s also influencing their reproductive decisions.

New research shows a distinct link between income levels and requests for vasectomies.

Study author Dr. Anand Shridharani, a men's reproductive and sexual health specialist at Erlanger Health System in Knoxville, Tenn., says the country’s economic woes are “pushing more guys to get a vasectomy done.”

Shridharani conducted a study while at the Medical College of Wisconsin that looked at the numbers of men having vasectomies at their facility from June 2005 through October 2012.  The study also tracked the median income in Wisconsin and the median U.S. income during that same time period.

“We found as the median income for Wisconsin declined, the rate of vasectomies annually went up,” Shridharani said.

In 2005, 91 men in Wisconsin had a vasectomy and the median state income was $54,269.  In 2010, 239 men had a vasectomy and the income had dropped to $50,547.

Shridharani called the increase in vasectomies “statistically significant.”

He concluded, “The suspected reason is that having an unexpected child would increase the cost of living.” 

"People are having children older, and older people are more in tune with what children cost," Shridharani added.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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