This is a major question that plagues many men who are considering a vasectomy as a method of birth control. Most men fear that undergoing a vasectomy will leave them impotent or perhaps even cause erectile dysfunction. They fear that they will not be able to sustain an erection or that somehow, their sexual performance will be affected.
If this is a worry of yours, the simple answer here is: No.
A vasectomy will not affect your sex drive, your ability to become erect, your performance, or your ability to climax. Surgeons have been performing vasectomies for many years and there is no significant evidence of a link between vasectomies and adverse effects on sex life.
In order to fully understand this, let’s talk about what a vasectomy really is.
What is a Vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that men under go as a method of contraception which prevents sperm from entering the ejaculate. This is done by means of the vas deferens. The vas deferens is a coiled tube that transports sperm to the ejaculatory ducts. During a vasectomy, a hole is made in the vas deferens and they are tied. This prevents the sperm from being discharged into the ejaculate which comes from the penis.
What Happens During a Vasectomy?
There are usually two procedures your doctor will choose from when performing a vasectomy. In the first procedure, your doctor will give you a local anesthetic to numb the scrotum. An opening will be made in your scrotum through which the two vas deferens tubes will be cut. The two ends will then be tied and stitched. In this procedure, the doctor may also select to seal the ends with heat. The vas deferens will be replaced into the scrotum and the skin will be closed usually with small stitches.
In the second procedure, no scalpels are used. Instead, a puncture hole is made in the scrotum. Here, the vas deferens is pulled through the hole and then cut. The ends are tied and then the vas deferens is put back into their place. This is usually a smoother process than the procedure mentioned previously. This requires no stitching or sutures and is the most common procedure for a vasectomy.
Because the vas deferens are severed, sperm is not able to enter the ejaculate which which keeps sperm from being able to fertilize the woman’s egg. Even though sperm is not available to fertilize the woman’s egg, the man is still able to perform sexually and derive sexual satisfaction. As the penis and testicles are not involved in a vasectomy, it is rare that any physical damage is done during a vasectomy that would have any adverse consequence on your sex life. A vasectomy also does not alter your testosterone levels or affect the volume of ejaculate. Therefore, a vasectomy alone will not affect your ability to get an erection or to be able to ejaculate.
Take This Into Consideration
There are a few things to remember here:
- Your psychological state is very important to your sexual functioning. In fact, your brain is your most important sexual organ. As a result, mental stimulation plays an important role in developing and maintaining a healthy sex life. If you’re feeling uncertain or worried as a result of your vasectomy, it may affect your sexual prowess.
- Many men become very anxious about their sexual functioning after a vasectomy. So even though risk of adverse physical damage to your genitals during the procedure is low, your psychological state after the procedure may interfere with your sexual feelings.
- If you have had sexual problems before your vasectomy (e.g. erectile dysfunction, sexual pain, etc.) then you may experience these problems after your vasectomy as well. Talk to your doctor about any sexual problems you are experiencing and ask about how a vasectomy may affect you.
A vasectomy needs to be done by a qualified doctor. If this doesn’t happen, complications may arise which may then cause a lot of pain and problems. But the chances of any problems in sexual functioning occurring as a direct result of a vasectomy are very few. So after the recovery period is over, your body should go back to normal and you will usually experience arousal and perform as normally as before. So if you are experiencing problems performing sexually after a vasectomy, it is likely a result of your psychological state. Get a checkup with your doctor first (usually the one who performed the vasectomy) to make sure everything biological is working as it should, then see a qualified Marriage and Family Therapist to talk about psychological barriers that may be affecting your sex life.