Vasectomy has no effect on a man’s sex drive, testosterone levels, erections, orgasms or how much semen he ejaculates.
Many men who have undergone the procedure, and their partners, find that sex is more spontaneous and enjoyable because they no longer have the inconvenience or concerns about contraceptives, such as condoms or a diaphragm.
They also don’t have to worry about an accidental pregnancy. This is according to urologist Harry Fisch.
You can, however, have sex after your vasectomy, but you must continue to use some type of contraception until a semen test confirms that you are sterile.
It generally takes about eight weeks and 20 ejaculations to completely clear out the sperm that remains in the reproductive system after the vas deferens have been cut, but a few men will not be sperm-free for five or six months.
Although it is extremely effective for preventing pregnancy, vasectomy does not offer protection against acquired immune deficiency syndrome (Aids) or other sexually transmitted diseases.
Consequently, it is important that vasectomised men continue to use condoms, preferably latex, which offers considerable protection against the spread of disease, in any sexual encounter that carries the risk of contracting or transmitting infection.
One of the main advantages of vasectomy — that it is relatively permanent — can also be a disadvantage if a man later decides he wants to father children.
If a couple decides to conceive after a vasectomy, it is possible to store semen in a sperm bank to preserve the possibility of producing a pregnancy at some future date.
However, doing this is costly, and the sperm in stored semen do not always remain healthy and able to cause pregnancy.
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Doctors advise that vasectomy be undertaken only by men who are prepared to accept the fact that they will no longer be able to father a child. The decision should be considered along with other contraceptive options.
Men who are married or are in a serious relationship should discuss the issues with their partners. After the vasectomy procedure, Fisch said a man can resume light activity the day after a vasectomy, and full activity two days after the vasectomy.
The vast majority of men have little or no post-procedure pain. Only about 1 in 1,000 men will have enough discomfort to request prescription pain medication.
Reversing a vasectomy is possible, but it is a difficult and expensive operation with no guarantee of success. Fisch said the reversal of a vasectomy is performed to return sperm to the ejaculate.
“This should not affect the production of testosterone by the testicles, which are the hormone that stimulates the sex drive,” he said.
Between 85 per cent and 97 per cent of men undergo vasectomy reversal with the modern microsurgical techniques that make it more feasible.
The reversal will have sperm in their semen again (following a period of recovery), and about half of couples in which the man has had this kind of vasectomy will achieve a pregnancy.
“Of course, these are averages. The less time has elapsed since a guy’s vasectomy, the better his chances of success. The pregnancy rate is 76 per cent for guys whose vasectomy was three years or less before their reversal, but only 30 per cent for guys whose vasectomy was 15 or more years before the reversal,” Fisch said.