You know what a vasectomy is (and how to reverse it). You know what March Madness is as well. But Vas Madness? That may be a strange intersection you have yet to pass through, but it’s exactly what it sounds like: Scheduling snips around the NCAA tournament. It started a few years ago when urologists started to notice patients planning their recovery for procedure around the games, so they started marketing it accordingly. Yet the following newly released documentary short shows that Vas Madness is so much more than a clever name and basketball-shaped ice pack.
Alex Agnant and Joe Ward of ImageMotion Productions, who co-produced the film, discovered that the promotion actually does a lot of public health good. Seriously, Vas Madness is no joke, it just happens to be funny. Agnant and Ward shared their experiences about making the short — or the “director’s cut,” if you will. Here are the brackets.
Wives Love Vas Madness
The filmmakers found it wasn’t the men who called about the initial Vas Madness advertisements, it was their wives. “It seemed like there were a lot of men who had been meaning to do it for a long time. Their wives would see the ads on TV and call the clinics to give their husbands numbers,” Agant said. Then they get a call from a doctor’s office telling them they get to do 2 things they were already going to do (eventually). But like Marcus in the documentary, you can eat ribs.
Doctors Dig It Too
The amount of vasectomies they average during a normal month could total what they perform in a day during Vas Madness. Still, doctors don’t just love it for the extra business or the basketball. Of course, that probably all helps. But Agnant and Ward agreed they seemed to genuinely enjoy normalizing an important procedure, and they have a sense of humor about it. Ward noted, “They used a little bit of gallows humor to loosen up the patients beforehand.” So when do the doctors get to watch the games? When they get their own vasectomies. Until then, they’re busy.
Really, It’s A Men’s Health Issue
Vas Madness isn’t an excuse to watch basketball, but basketball? That might be an excuse for some men to start paying attention to their health, which historically, your sex isn’t great with. Men aren’t eager to schedule the procedure after they’ve decided on it, but they’re not eager to do a lot for their health even when it doesn’t involve cutting and cauterizing their balls (that’s what the smoke is from, by the way).
“All the doctors were saying that it’s very common for men to go years and year without seeing a doctor, period, not to mention the urologist. So just getting them in the door is a big challenge because men generally don’t want to think about their health until they absolutely have to.” Ward said. Agnant also recalled doctors discussing how during the initial consultation, which includes an exam, they’ll occasionally find something of concern that they may not have caught — if it weren’t for this madness, that is. If only you had a sporting event to correspond with your blood pressure check, diabetes test, and cholesterol screening.
It’s Manly As Hell
Getting a vasectomy isn’t emasculating, but there’s something about slicing around that region that can make it feel that way. Since many men they encountered decided to get the procedure done after their partners experienced dangerous pregnancies, it’s the opposite. Getting it done was one of many ways they stepped up as men to take care of their families.
Perhaps that was the most surprising yet important things to learn from making the doc. For Agnant, who is a father and husband, the most significant takeaway was this: “You can still be a man and help with the family planning. The burden isn’t just on your wife. It’s a family decision, and there’s something you can do, and it’s this” … and it’s basketball.