Do vasectomies affect a man’s testosterone levels and sexual function?

The decision to get a vasectomy is personal. The main reason men have a vasectomy is to no longer be able to father children.  This very safe and effective male sterilization is an outpatient procedure taking between 10 to 30 minutes, and is performed cheaper, faster, with fewer side effects than female sterilization (tubal ligation), and is considered almost 100% effective in preventing pregnancy.  

In the U.S., approximately 500,000 men have a vasectomy each year with few problems. However, many men may have concerns about what happens after the procedure – will it affect their testosterone levels or their sexual functioning?

Will a vasectomy effect testosterone levels?

Men have valid concerns if their testosterone levels will be affected by a vasectomy.  Yet, this minor outpatient surgery has been around since the late 1890s, with numerous long-term data showing its overall safety and efficacy. 

Thankfully, studies have found that the procedure does not cause hormonal imbalances such as declining testosterone levels. A 2018 study backed this up. As the study authors stated, “Vasectomy had no long-term effect on the level of sexual hormones in men, and it did not increase the levels of PSA (prostate specific antigen).

This does not mean that men who undergo a vasectomy will never have an imbalance in their testosterone levels.  Even if they do, it’s likely for a different reason which could include:

  • Weight gain
  • Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
  • Injury to the adrenal glands
  • Long-term steroid use
  • Diabetes
  • Other medical issues such as cancer or an undescended testicle

The other good news is that a 2021 study found that men who’ve had a vasectomy have no increased risk of other health conditions such as prostate cancer, heart disease, or developing an autoimmune disease.   

What about men’s sexual performance – is it affected by a vasectomy?

Men may hesitate to have a vasectomy based on fears or concerns of experiencing sexual dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction. However, men want to know whether a vasectomy will change their sexual performance.  The answer is yes and likely for the better. 

Again, research has shown that a man’s sex life can be improved and enhanced after a vasectomy. For instance, a 2017 study found improvement in men’s sexual satisfaction after a vasectomy. A 2020 systemic review supported this finding, and men themselves have acknowledged that their sexual functioning had the following improvements:

  • Increased libido
  • Stronger erections
  • Improved orgasms
  • Frequency of sexual intercourse increased
  • More confidence in sexual performance

Another question men have is how does a vasectomy affect their ejaculation? The answer – nothing changes. Ejaculation after a vasectomy stays the same as before. Men will still have the ability to orgasm ejaculating seminal fluid. However, the absence of sperm within the fluid is a change and makes vasectomy successful as male contraception. 

Any man considering undergoing a vasectomy, needs to be certain he is at a stage in his life where he wishes not to father a child. However, vasectomies are usually reversible, so if he changes his mind, there is still the possibility of becoming a dad once again.

 

Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911. 

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