How Vasectomies Affect Men’s (And Women’s) Sex Lives

vasectomy-word-dictionary.jpg

Vasectomies are one of the most underutilized forms of birth control, in part, because a lot of men are worried about the procedure having a negative effect on their sex lives. According to the American Urological Association, “many patients are concerned that vasectomy may cause changes in sexual function such as erectile dysfunction, reduced or absent orgasmic sensation, decreased ejaculate volume, reduced sexual interest, decreased genital sensation and/or diminished sexual pleasure” [1]. 

But are these concerns founded? Do guys really need to be worried about vasectomies hurting their sex lives? 

According to the research, most men probably don’t have anything to worry about. In fact, men—and their female partners—usually report that vasectomies tend to enhance their sex lives. Here’s a review of some of the evidence:

· A study of 5,838 men (of whom 353 were vasectomized) found that the guys who underwent vasectomies had sex more often [2]. Specifically, vasectomized men reported having sex an average of 5.9 times per month compared to 4.9 times for non-vasectomized guys. 

· A smaller study of 64 men who were surveyed both before and after having received vasectomies found no evidence of the procedure causing erectile problems (in fact, on average, erectile function actually improved after surgery) [3]. In addition, men typically reported more desire for sex and greater satisfaction after being vasectomized.

· A study of 76 heterosexual couples who were surveyed before and after the procedure showed no statistically significant change in sexual function for men; however, their female partners showed increases in sexual desire, satisfaction, and orgasm [4]. 

Of course, as with any medical procedure, there will be variability in the results across individuals. And if you’re thinking about getting a vasectomy, you should consult with your doctor to determine whether it’s right for you.

Overall, however, the evidence suggests that vasectomies are unlikely to hurt sexual men’s sexual function. Further, these results suggest that vasectomies may actually have the potential to increase sexual frequency and satisfaction for men and their partners. 

 Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology ? Click here for previous articles or follow the blog on Facebook (facebook.com/psychologyofsex), Twitter (@JustinLehmiller), or Reddit (reddit.com/r/psychologyofsex) to receive updates. You can also follow Dr. Lehmiller on YouTube and Instagram.

[1] Sharlip, I. D. et al. (2015). Vasectomy: AUA guideline. American Urological Association.

[2] Guo, D. P., Lamberts, R. W., & Eisenberg, M. L. (2015). Relationship between Vasectomy and Sexual Frequency. The Journal of Sexual Medicine12(9), 1905-1910.

[3] Bertero, E., Hallak, J., Gromatzky, C., Lucon, A. M., & Arap, S. (2005). Assessment of sexual function in patients undergoing vasectomy using the international index of erectile function. International Brazilian Journal of Urology31(5), 452-458.

[4 ] Mohamad Al‐Ali, B., Shamloul, R., Ramsauer, J., Bella, A. J., Scrinzi, U., Treu, T., & Jungwirth, A. (2014). The effect of vasectomy on the sexual life of couples. The Journal of Sexual Medicine11(9), 2239-2242.

Image Source: 123RF/Piotr Trojanowski

You Might Also Like: