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Can a vasectomy cause impotence?

by | Jun 24, 2022 | Articles, Erectile dysfunction, Impotence, Vasectomy

A very effective form of birth control

Doctors have been performing vasectomies since the late 1800s. After many years of research, there has never been any significant evidence that they may cause impotence – or erectile dysfunction. A vasectomy does not involve the penis, testicles, or any other internal organs.   

A vasectomy is a procedure that blocks the sperm from mixing with the ejaculate or the semen as it is also known. Without sperm which is carried in the semen, a woman cannot fall pregnant. Unless the procedure is not properly done, it is almost an infallible method of birth control.

How is the procedure performed?

A vasectomy is a quick, outpatient procedure, which takes place in a day hospital, or other medical settings. The patient is allowed to go home as soon as the process is complete. The most common approach is a through-the-skin keyhole, no-scalpel vasectomy. It takes about 20 minutes and no stitches are involved. However, it does involve the use of a local anaesthetic. There is only minor pain afterwards which can easily be controlled.

The surgeon usually feels under the scrotum to locate the vas deferens, which is the tube which carries the sperm to the semen for ejaculation. The surgeon will make a small hole to cut and tie off this tube so that the sperm does not reach the semen.

Note that this process will not affect erections or the ability to climax. The only difference will be that the ejaculate will not contain any sperm. Sperm will be continued to be manufactured in the testicles, but will just be naturally absorbed by the body without any effects.

It is also important to note that protection against pregnancy is not immediate. It takes about 3 months before the ejaculate is sperm-free. A visit to the doctor is necessary after 3 months for a test to see if there is still sperm in the semen.

What a vasectomy will not do

There are often misunderstandings about vasectomies and possible side effects. However, most of your fears are actually unfounded. A vasectomy only means that the ejaculate will not contain any sperm and not be able to fertilise the female egg.

Here are some of the things that a vasectomy will not do:

  • Will not affect masculinity or sexual drive.
  • Testosterone levels will not be affected in any way.
  • The volume of your ejaculate will stay the same.
  • Will not cause damage to other sexual organs, or cause any severe pain.

 Apart from being a first-class way of preventing a pregnancy from occurring, a vasectomy does not prevent the spreading of a sexually transmitted infection, (STI) as only using a condom can do this. Unprotected sex, even if you have had a vasectomy, will put you at a higher risk of contracting an STI.

A vasectomy reversal

There are people who for one reason or another, later decide to have the vasectomy reversed. This can be done, but it requires caution, as it can be a bit tricky. The good news is that the reversal has a high success rate, and like the original vasectomy, does not lead to impotency or any other impaired sexual function.

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