One of the most common male procedures, each year, more than 500,000 American men undergo a vasectomy, a simple, safe, and reliable procedure. Yet this procedure is often met with strange tales and untruths, despite its very high success rates and volumes of conclusive research. Among these misconceptions are those for future sexual health and function, pain, and potential threats of unrelated conditions.
What Explains The Vasectomy Misconceptions?
Many men have vasectomies, in which the tubes carrying sperm are cut off and sealed, preventing them from reaching the semen. But despite the indisputable evidence, some of this inaccurate information may be because vasectomies are a form of permanent birth control. While they may be reversed, the results aren’t guaranteed.
Men may also not be receiving the best medical information about vasectomies. If you’re considering the procedure, you and your partner should thoroughly discuss it, so you know what to expect. There is also the social stigma associated, even among men with female partners who have undergone tubal ligation, the female equivalent of vasectomy. Known as “having your tubes tied,” it’s also a type of permanent birth control.
Besides being safe and reliable, vasectomies cost half as much as tubal ligation and are covered by most insurance plans. Studies show that men have misconceptions about vasectomy side effects, including losing masculinity or “manhood,” genital disfigurement, impotence, and a lack of social support.
What Are Some Common Myths Regarding Vasectomies?
Vasectomy And Success Rates
Vasectomies are very effective, showing long-term success rates of 99%. By following your doctor’s instructions, you can avoid getting your partner pregnant. Most pregnancies that occur involve patients having unprotected intercourse before completing a test to confirm the vasectomy’s effectiveness. But as vasectomies only prevent pregnancy, not sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), you must use additional means of protection, like condoms.
Vasectomy And Sexual Performance
A vasectomy will not affect your libido (sexual drive) or levels of the hormone, testosterone. Besides a psychological connection, libido and testosterone are closely linked physiologically. This procedure does not change blood flow to or from the testes, testosterone level, or libido. Your penis’ nerves are unaffected, leaving sensitivity or pleasure intact. Some men even find their sexual satisfaction improves, as they’re spared any worries about impregnating their partner.
Vasectomies are not performed near the penis, so there’s no impact on erections, and you don’t have to worry about erectile dysfunction. You can also disregard ejaculation fears, as your testicles only contribute about 1% of semen production. The other 99% come from the prostate and the seminal vesicles, which aren’t affected.
Vasectomy And Other Diseases
It’s thought that having a vasectomy will increase your risk of certain cancers or heart disease. But studies show no association between this procedure and higher disease risks.
Vasectomy And Severe Pain
You may have heard that vasectomies are painful. But as you’re anesthetized, you’ll experience only mild or moderate pain, like pulling or tugging. Any post-surgical pain can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. Some bleeding and infection risks may occur, although they’re extremely rare.
Localized aching is normal in the few days afterward, but your physician can discuss pain management before your procedure. If you follow your doctor’s instructions, you can generally resume light work within 2-3 days, heavy work or exercise in a week, and normal sexual activity after one week.
Schedule A Vasectomy Consultation in California
A vasectomy is a safe, effective method for birth control, but controversy and confusion surround it. If you’re considering scheduling a vasectomy, you should discuss any questions or concerns with your physician. We encourage you to contact us for an appointment.