A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure that severs and seals off the tubes that transport sperm from the testicles. As a result, sperm is prevented from mixing with the semen, which a man ejaculates during orgasm.
Men undergoing a vasectomy will still be able to ejaculate normally, but sperm will no longer be present in the semen.
Some men who are thinking about having a vasectomy might be concerned that their testosterone, sex drive and sexual function may be lower after the procedure. Fortunately, having a vasectomy does not affect testosterone levels or sexual performance.
This article will attempt to dispel some common misconceptions about vasectomy and give you the real facts when it comes to this procedure.
Does Having A Vasectomy Lower Testosterone Levels?
While a vasectomy modifies the physical components of the male reproductive system that lead to pregnancy, it does not lead to biological changes in men. Although it is a common myth that a vasectomy can reduce testosterone, the truth of the matter is that it has no effect on sex hormone levels.
In fact, a study examining the long-term effects of vasectomies showed that these procedures have no lasting effect on testosterone levels in men. The study showed that patients who had a vasectomy did not have statistically different levels of free testosterone, LH (luteinizing hormone), or TSI (testosterone secreting index). (1)
Dispelling Some Myths About Vasectomies
A lot of men wince at the mere mention of the word vasectomy. It can bring to mind any number of wrong ideas about how it might negatively impact their manhood.
However, these are the simple facts:
- Having a vasectomy does not decrease a man’s testosterone levels.
- Men can still produce sperm after a vasectomy, it just won’t be able to mix with the semen.
- The procedure will have no affect on a man’s desire for sex or sexual function.
- There are no long-term health risks associated with vasectomy, according to the AUA (American Urological Association).
- There is no evidence that having a vasectomy can lead to prostate cancer.
- This procedure is the most reliable method of birth control, having a 99% success rate.
Additionally, although all surgical procedures carry the potential to cause side effects ( such as infection), the risk associated with vasectomy is relatively low.
A vasectomy is a brief procedure, usually lasting no more than 15 minutes. It can be performed in a doctor’s office or at an outpatient clinic.
Using a local anesthetic, the doctor numbs the scrotal area, and then makes a tiny puncture through the skin of the scrotum. He or she then locates the vas deferens (the tube that transports sperm), cuts it into, and seals the ends.
There are usually no stiches required and recovery involves a minimum of discomfort. Many men report that the procedure is less painful than a bee sting.
After The Procedure
Spend a day or two unwinding at home. Any soreness or swelling in the scrotum can be managed with ice. It is advised to take Tylenol for discomfort. Semen may initially contain a small amount of blood, but this is not uncommon
Wait a day before going back to work, and at least a week should pass before engaging in regular physical activity. Maintain cleanliness in the area and use snug underwear or a jock strap for support.
Refrain from having sex for a week following the surgery. Men should still utilize a backup method of contraception for the following three months as some sperm will still remain in the sperm ducts. It is recommended to Ejaculate at least 15-20 times while the sperm count is decreasing throughout this time.
Lastly, make an appointment to see your doctor for a semen analysis to confirm that your sperm count is at zero.
Bottom line: vasectomies are safe and have a low chance of complications, and there is no evidence that having a vasectomy could cause a permanent reduction in testosterone. While side effects may occur in some men following a vasectomy, they are usually not an issue that is long-term.
Janice Reilly is the Deputy Editor of Content at The Sperm Count Report. She has extensive experience as a writer and editor for medical news blogs, where she covered fitness, reproductive health, nutritional supplementation, and similar subjects.