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Does Having a Vasectomy Lower Sex Drive?

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Updated May 27, 2014

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Does Having a Vasectomy Lower Sex Drive?

Vasectomy and Sex Drive

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Question: Does Having a Vasectomy Lower Sex Drive?

A vasectomy is a safe, effective and permanent birth control method for men. In fact, vasectomies are the most cost-effective method of contraception – costing half the price of tubal ligation, and it's much safer.

Whereas only one out of every five men in the United States over age 35 has undergone a vasectomy, more than twice as many women have their tubes tied (even though that operation costs a lot more and usually involves surgery).

To understand why this may be, researchers have tried to analyze the fears and thoughts of men who have been considering having a vasectomy for almost a year, but just haven’t gone through with the procedure. It seems that anxiety about the pain of the incisions during the surgery (which could be alleviated via the no scalpel approach) and fear over how the vasectomy will affect their sex drive appeared to be responsible.

Answer:

There is no negative relationship between a vasectomy and sex drive. This is because nothing physiologically changes within a man’s body after a vasectomy. Male sterilization does not interfere with the blood vessels or nerves that are necessary for having an erection or ejaculation. A vasectomy does not cause impotence or affect your ability to maintain an erection. There is no connection between vasectomy and lower sex drive.

After a vasectomy, you will still be able to have erections, ejaculate and experience an orgasm. The color and consistency of the ejaculate are not changed either. This is because approximately 95% of male ejaculate (semen) is created in the prostate and seminal vesicles -- both of which are not affected by a vasectomy.

That being said, because a vasectomy prevents sperm from being released into semen during ejaculation, the only noteworthy change after a vasectomy is that the sperm is no longer in the ejaculate. Because of this, there is a tiny reduction in the volume of the ejaculate. However, since the sperm only makes up a slight portion of the semen (about 2-5%), this lowered volume of ejaculate fluid is very difficult to notice.

With respect to sexual pleasure, some men do report experiencing some occasional mild aching in their testicles during sexual arousal. But this typically only lasts for the first couple of months after having the vasectomy.

A vasectomy also does not affect masculinity. The testicles and adrenal glands will continue to manufacture testosterone, the hormone that controls masculinity. This means that men will continue to have a sex drive, speak with the same voice and form facial hair.

A vasectomy does not lower sex drive or a man’s ability to enjoy sexual relations. It does, however, prevent a man from being able to provide sperm to fertilize an egg. This means you will no longer be able to help conceive a child. Because of its permanent nature, the decision to seek a vasectomy should be seriously considered and should involve discussions between spouses and with medical professionals. It is important that men express all their concerns about a vasectomy with their doctors (such as lowered sex drive, pain, reversibility, etc.) before undergoing this procedure. Research indicates that there is a great need for pre-vasectomy counseling, especially in the area of postoperative expectations, sex drive concerns and the opportunity for reversibility.

Several weeks after having a vasectomy (once it has been confirmed that sperm are no longer present in the semen), both men and women no longer find themselves worrying about a decreased sex drive; even better, there is no more anxiety over a potential unplanned pregnancy. Most couples report that their lovemaking, after a vasectomy, is typically more intense and sensuous, more spontaneous, more pleasurable and more frequent. Concerns about vasectomy and sex drive seem to no longer factor into the equation.

Sources:

Cutie, CJ. & Ongaro, TJ. “Patient information: Vasectomy.” UptoDate. Accessed via private subscription July 2011.

Family Health International. “Final report: A comparative study of the no scalpel and the standard incision method of vasectomy in five countries.” Research Triangle Park, NC: Family Health International, 1996.

Sandlow, JI., Westefeld, JS., Maples, MR., Scheel, KR. “Psychological correlates of vasectomy.” ertility and Sterility. 2001; 75(3):544-548. Accessed via private subscription.

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