With household budgets tightening due to the recession, more men seem to be seeking elective sterilization, the New York Times reports. While it’s still too early to track the trend (the most recent comprehensive data comes from 2006), anecdotal evidence suggests people are thinking twice before expanding their families, just as in the Great Depression, when the birth rate fell sharply. Planned Parenthood in southern California reports that, compared with last year’s first quarter, requests for vasectomies were up over 30 per cent. Dr. Charles Wilson of Seattle’s vasectomy clinic says he’s performed about 123 of the procedures each month for the last six months, 13 per cent higher than the year before. “I’ve been in practice for 30 years, and I’ve never seen a spike like this,” says Dr. Marc Goldstein in New York. “Many of my clients work in finance and say they feel anxious about the expense of an added child.” Indeed, the expense is significant; a baby born in 2006 will cost middle-income families $260,000 by the time the child reaches 17, the newspaper reports.