Does Having a Vasectomy Lower Sex Drive?

Does Having a Vasectomy Lower Sex Drive?
Does Having a Vasectomy Lower Sex Drive?. Jon Feingersh/Blend Images/Getty Images

Why Are Men Not Having Vasectomies?

A vasectomy is a safe and effective permanent birth control method for men. In fact, vasectomies:

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

    Well, 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. And these are the main reasons, it seems, for why men aren't going through with getting their vasectomies:

    1. Anxiety about the pain during the surgery (which could be lowered by having a no-scalpel vasectomy). 
    2. Fear over how the vasectomy will affect their sex drive.

    I'm not going to argue, I am sure that men feel a little bit of discomfort during and after a vasectomy. Bu, what about their concerns about libido?

    So, Does Having a Vasectomy Lower Sex Drive?

    You men out there should be relieved to know the following...

    There is no negative relationship between a vasectomy and sex drive. This means that having a vasectomy does NOT lower your sex drive. Why?Because nothing physiologically changes within your body after a vasectomy. Male sterilization does not interfere with the blood vessels or nerves that are required for having an erection or for ejaculation.

    So, a vasectomy does not cause impotence or lower your ability to maintain an erection. There is no connection between vasectomy and lower sex drive.

    So, I Will Still Have a Normal Sex Drive After My Vasectomy?

    YES!! After a vasectomy, you will still be able:

    • Have the same libido and sex drive.
    • Have and maintain erections.
    • Ejaculate.
    • Have an orgasm.

    Yep, you are reading this correctly... having a vasectomy does not lower sex drive or negatively impact your sexual experiences. And guess what? The color and consistency of your ejaculate/semen will not change either. This is because approximately 95% of male ejaculate (semen) is created in the prostate and seminal vesicles -- both of which are not affected at all by a vasectomy.

    Also, just in case you are wondering -- having a vasectomy will not affect your masculinity. Your testicles and adrenal glands will continue to make testosterone (the hormone that controls masculinity). This means that you will continue to have a sex drive, speak with the same voice, and form facial hair.

    So What Does a Vasectomy Do?

    A vasectomy prevents sperm from being released into your semen during ejaculation. So, the only thing that will change after having your vasectomy is that your sperm will no longer be ejaculated during your orgasm (but the rest of your semen will be!). Because of this, there may be a tiny reduction in the volume of your ejaculate fluid. Now, before you start to worry about that -- let me point out that your sperm only makes up a slight portion of your semen (just around 2-5%). So, you most likely won't even notice the lower volume of your ejaculate fluid.

    I'll be honest, some men do report feeling some occasional mild aching in their testicles during sexual arousal. But the good news is that this usually only lasts for the first couple of months after having a vasectomy (No pain, no gain -- right?).

    The Bottom Line: Vasectomy = Satisfaction:

    I'll say it one more time... a vasectomy does not lower sex drive or your ability to enjoy sex. What it does do is prevent you from being able to provide sperm to fertilize an egg. This means that you will no longer be able to help conceive a child. Because a vasectomy is permanent, you should seriously consider your decision to have a vasectomy. This should include discussions between spouses and with medical professionals. It is important that you express all your concerns about having a vasectomy with your doctor (such as lowered sex drive, pain, the opportunity for reversibility, etc.) before having this procedure. Research does show that there is a great need for pre-vasectomy counseling -- especially in the area of what to expect after having a vasectomy,

    Finally, it may be helpful to know that 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 the vasectomy lowering sex drive. Even better (yep, it gets better), there is no more anxiety over a potential unplanned pregnancy. So, after a vasectomy, most couples report that their lovemaking tends to be:

    • More satisfying.
    • More intense and sensuous.
    • More spontaneous.
    • More pleasurable.
    • More frequent.

    So... concerns about vasectomy and sex drive no longer factor into the couple's thinking. 


    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.” ​​Fertility and Sterility. 2001; 75(3):544-548. Accessed via private subscription.

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