Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 9:27 am
The number of men getting vasectomies spiked during the Great Recession, rising one-third from 2006 to 2010, a study finds.
In 2006, 3.9 percent of men said they had had a vasectomy; in 2010, 4.4 percent reported having the surgery. That means an additional 150,000 to 180,000 men per year had vasectomies in each year of the recession.
Men seek it out to combat low energy and decreased sex drive. Prescription testosterone has become so popular that so-called "low T" clinics are becoming common sights in cities and suburbs.
The number of testosterone prescriptions written in the U.S. more than tripled in the past decade. But researchers suspect that much of the testosterone dispensed at low-T clinics isn't tracked, since it's often bought with cash. This unfettered flow of testosterone — officially a controlled substance — has raised concerns among doctors who specialize in hormonal problems.
Researchers say a cheap, generic pill called finasteride prevents almost 40 percent of low-grade prostate cancers without increasing the risk of dying from more aggressive tumors.
New evidence points to the drug as a potentially safer way to deal with prostate cancers that now get more intense treatment. Many prostate cancers that aren't destined to cause men serious health problems are often treated with surgery or radiation.