Can Your Vasectomy Affect Your Sex Life?
Each year, approximately half a million men undergo the vasectomy procedure. This minor surgery is intended to prevent pregnancy for the rest of the man’s life (though reversal is a possibility). Many years ago, vasectomy was portrayed as a procedure that would affect all of a man’s “manhood,” with cartoons depicting a post-vasectomy patient as having a chirp of a voice rather than the deep growl he entered the office with.
This is not a fair depiction of vasectomy treatment at all, and most men understand that this procedure touches no body parts other than the vas deferens, the tiny tubes that travel from the testicles to the urethra. The testicles themselves are untouched, as are the penis and all other anatomical structures.
A Missing Link
Doctors who perform vasectomies inevitably hear from some patients that their sex drive has declined significantly after their procedure. While this is a believable phenomenon, it is typically not ascribed to a complication from the vasectomy. Usually, another reason can be found.
The leading cause of low libido after a vasectomy is pain. This typically occurs early on after the vasectomy and does not last. The experience of pain during arousal or sexual intercourse can invariably affect a man’s mental state during moments of intimacy. When a man worries that sexual arousal will trigger pain, his ability to get and maintain an erection may be dampened. Once comfort returns, we expect patients to return to business as usual in the bedroom.
Another reason that men may experience a dip in sex drive after their vasectomy is the invasive thought that “things won’t be the same” now that their anatomy has been altered. Men considering vasectomy treatment are encouraged to know that they should continue to produce the same amount of semen they did before their procedure. Testosterone levels also remain consistent after vasectomy, as do the position of the testicles and characteristics of the penis.
Easing Into a New Norm
In most cases, we see that men’s sex lives improve as a result of vasectomy treatment. Concerns about sex drive seem to be the biggest killer of easing into a new norm. Once sexual intimacy resumes and a man learns to trust that his body is just as it always has been, minus a tiny, sperm-carrying tube, he gets a clear picture of the freedom he has gained through his treatment.