- Men's Health & Wellness
Does a Vasectomy Affect Sexual Performance?
Contraceptives and the vasectomy.
Bringing a child into the world is a huge financial and emotional undertaking. Parenthood is a path that is filled with all manor of tough decisions to make and the responsibility that is placed immediately on your shoulders at their birth is phenomenal. The unconditional love that you feel for your baby is overwhelming and the rewards of being a mother or father are great, however it is definitely something that is not to be taken likely.
Some people decide that they don't ever want to become a parent and don't feel the need to reproduce and that's why they decide to take preventative measures so they are not ever able to conceive. Others have already had children but have approached a time in their lives where they don't feel like they would want anymore.
Most forms of contraception are temporary and can be removed at anytime. After using the majority of methods of birth control, the individual can then go on to get pregnant or are able to impregnate their partner with little difficulty, however a vasectomy is different.
What is a Vasectomy and is it safe?
When a man comes to a stage in his life where he feels like his family is complete and does not wish to father any more children, he may decide to have a vasectomy (also known as the snip). This procedure involves the cutting and tying together of the males vas deferens. These are the tubes that run along the spermatic cord, through the spermatic canal and to the testis. It is over two foot in length in its entirety and is part of the ejaculatory duct. By manipulating these parts of the male reproductive organs it prevents the full production of sperm.
The operation is done under anaesthetic and the patient can return home the same day. A vasectomy is classed as a minor operation and unlike female sterilization where the risk of death is 1 in 100,000, the death rate from a vasectomy is zero, no one has ever died as a result of this procedure.
What are the side effects?
The area will be sore and bruised for a couple of weeks and although rest is advised, it is perfectly OK to go about your normal duties afterwards, work, driving and sports etc. For up to 20 weeks after a vasectomy the man and his partner will need to continue to use an other form of contraception until two negative sperm samples have been provided, on two consecutive occasions.
It is also worth noting that although a vasectomy will prevent pregnancy, it can not prevent the passing on or catching of S.T.I.'s or S.T.D.'s, the use of a condom or abstinence is the only way to prevent the spreading of sexually transmitted diseases or infections.
Apart from minor tissue damage to the area and sensations of feeling tender or delicate, there are no other physical side affects to a vasectomy. The male genitalia will work as well as before and will not have been inhibited by the operation in the slightest. Sexual performance should return back to its usual manor in a matter of a couple of weeks or even a few days.
How does it affect a relationship?
The only thing that may be of a deterrent to intimacy is swollen or painful testicles, the absence of sperm is of no significant or noticeable difference. Similarly desire, enjoyment and ability should also remain the same. In all anatomical senses function is not effected by a vasectomy.
70% of men find that their sex life actually improves post a vasectomy operation as the worry associated with conception has been removed. They admit to gaining a new sense of freedom and their enjoyment of making love increases. They also state that due to a lack of their ability to produce anymore offspring, lead to their sex drive actually being greatly increased.
2% of men however do claim that there sex life has become worse as a result of having a vasectomy. As some women link the ability to become a mother to their femininity, some men link their ability to father children to their masculinity. Occasionally some men find themselves believing that they have become less of a man and that they must have compromised some of their sexual prowess as a result. In cases such as these it's usually a result of feeling like they were pushed or rushed into making the decision in the first place and are experiencing regret or resentment over it. Lack of information before the operation or being given conflicting advice can also result in mixed feelings or confusion about the whole thing.
The other 28% of men questioned reported that all intimate affairs had remained the same.
Can it be reversed?
Microsurgery means that a vasectomy can be reversed, but it is not advisable. This kind of preventative measure for conception should be viewed as permanent. If you are in any doubt about whether or not you may want to have children in the future, then a vasectomy is not for you.
It is generally advised that only men in their 30's at the earliest, or even in some cases in their 40's or older, that have previously had two children go through a vasectomy procedure, as even after a successful tube reconnection has taken place, fertility rate can still remain low. This has the potential to lead to difficulties and frustration within a partnership, especially in circumstances where both parties wish to conceive.
It is important that men get the full support of their friends and family before and after a vasectomy, as although it is not a life threatening procedure it is a life changing one. A man may feel quite different about the whole thing then he originally thought he would, this can come as a bit of an emotional shock and may require some time to come to terms with. This situation will need some patience and understanding from those around him until the feelings have passed.
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