Does a Vasectomy Harm Your Sex Life?
As he was leaving after his vasectomy procedure, he suddenly turned around. With a big smile, and with the highest bird-chirp-shrill of a voice, he said: “Nice job, doc! Didn’t feel a thing!” And with that, he summed up the grass-roots understanding of what a vasectomy is: a male neutering exercise. Sorry guys, but that’s not the case!
During a vasectomy, the tiny, muscular, paired tubes that run from the testicles to the urethra are interrupted to block the flow of sperm during ejaculation. Vasectomy does not shut down production of sperm, but it stops sperm from getting into the ejaculate, leaving the body and getting a woman pregnant. In this way, men shoot blanks. But, during this finely tuned 10-minute procedure, nothing else is touched down there. That means that the testicles, the penis, and all of the anatomical goodies that go with them, are left alone.
Business as Usual
So, when men report that their erections worsen or that their sex drive has fallen like a brick after having a vasectomy, I believe them. But I don’t typically ascribe it to an irreversible consequence of the procedure. I look for other reasons. And the number one reason is pain. Early on, surgical pain after a vasectomy can definitely affect your sex life. Men worry that sex will hurt and that puts a damper on sex drive and erections. But this discomfort usually only occurs for the first few ejaculations after vasectomy. And when that discomfort dissipates, things fall right back into place. Business as usual. Likewise, congestion or inflammation causing discomfort after the procedure can put a damper on sex for some time, but things should normalize once these issues resolve.
The number two reason for altered sex life after vasectomy is a general concern that “things won’t be the same.” You shouldn’t notice a change in the amount or appearance of semen that pours forth during sex, because sperm makes up such a small percentage of your ejaculate. And vasectomy does not involve your testicles, so it won’t change your ability to produce testosterone; you will not notice any differences in physical characteristics affected by the production of testosterone, such as changes in your bone or muscle strength or body/facial hair. Your testosterone levels may decrease with age, but it has nothing to do with having a vasectomy. Your testicles won’t hang any differently and your penis will be as long and hard as it ever was. Unfortunately, these concerns are stressful and stress kills libido and erections. Thankfully, as men start having sex again, trust is reestablished that the system works just fine.
Let Your Body Go
Most commonly, I see that a vasectomy improves the quality of men’s sex lives. No more worry about pulling out, spilled seed, whether she took the pill, or the time of the month. There is something very liberating for both men and women about not having to think about contraception while in the throes of sex (although it is crucial to remember that vasectomy does not protect against sexually transmitted infections). After a vasectomy, sex again becomes the most fun that you can have without laughing.