Psychological Issue Related to Vasectomy
Almost all men fear the idea of having surgery anywhere near their genital regions. However, it is important to understand that vasectomies are generally less painful than surgical options for the woman, and they are also less expensive with fewer complications. Patients are recommended to ask questions and consult doctors about any risks and concerns in order to relieve anxiety. Vasectomies are often the best option that benefits the man as well as his loved ones. Many men have the following common fears.
- Pain – Local anesthetic completely numbs the area, so there should not be any discomfort or sensations during the procedure. If patients feel mild discomfort the first couple days after the anesthetic wears off, medications or ice packs can be used.
- Sexual dysfunction – A vasectomy does not reduce a man’s sexual drive or his ability to have an erection or enjoy sex. The procedure only blocks sperm and simply prevents the possibility of conceiving a child. There’s no effect on “masculinity,” The man’s body continues to produce hormones as before; testosterone continues to be produced and released into the bloodstream.
- Procedure failure – Vasectomies are almost 100 percent effect and very reliable. The risk of failure is under 0.05%. There is no single case report from hundreds of vasectomies performed in Dr. Shu’s office over the past 10 years.
- Complications – There are few risks involved with vasectomies. These include infection or swelling around the incision or inside the scrotum, bruising or inflammation and the development of a small lump due to a sperm leak.
- Absence from work – Patients typically return to work in three days of surgery, they are advised to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for 1-2 weeks.
Many men in Minnesota worry about how a vasectomy will affect their sex drive. Will I be able to have an erection, or ejaculate? How will it affect being able to have an orgasm? Will I still have a sex drive? The good news is that there is no relationship between a vasectomy and sex drive because there are no physiological changes that take place during a vasectomy, and the testicles and adrenal glands continue to manufacture testosterone hormone. Testosterone also controls masculinity that is why the sex drive and masculinity are not affected by the surgery, either. It will not interfere with the blood vessels or the nerves that are responsible for having an erection and ejaculation. Men after vasectomy will still have the same ability to maintain an erection and reach the orgasm. The color and consistency of the semen after vasectomy are not changed since the semen mainly comes from the prostrate and seminal vesicles which are not affected by the vasectomy.
It takes a few months of testing to determine that there are no more sperm present in the semen. Once that is established couples do not have to worry about using another method of birth control. It has been reported by both men and women that their sex life improved after a vasectomy, most of the vasectomy patients in One Stop Medical Center reported similar results. There is no more anxiety over an unplanned pregnancy and the sex drive has not decreased.
After vasectomy, men feel
• No change in the semen (except no sperm)
• No change in sex drive and desire
• No change in climax sensatioN
• No change in penile sensation
• No change in the testes or scrotum
• No change in erections
Psychological Effects of Vasectomy
Men have been surveyed about their vasectomy satisfaction since the mid 1970’s. The goal was to find out whether they were happy over all with their decision to have a vasectomy based on their sexual satisfaction and happiness. 90% agreed that their sexual desires and satisfaction levels were the same or better than before they had their vasectomy. 7-10% of men surveyed regretted their decision. The first surveys being done were just asking whether men were satisfied or dis-satisfied with their procedure. It did not ask about how they were feeling about it.
When the men were interviewed about their feelings and the psychological aspect was looked at, it was found there were valid reasons for men regretting their decision. Some were feeling bullied by their wife into having the procedure done. Others felt good about their decision but major changes in their life made them feel regretful. Life changes such as divorce and re-marrying or re-partnering with someone have a big impact on men especially if their new spouse or partner wants to have children. Up to 5% of men have a vasectomy reversal. A higher percentage would probably have a reversal done if it wasn’t for the cost and low success rates. Men who are typically younger when they have a vasectomy tend to have more regrets down the road.
Dr. Steven Shu of One Stop Medical Center located in Edina, MN always requires a consultation through online or face to face consultation and likes to make sure that both partners are in agreement before doing a vasectomy. It is important to have both couples on the same page in order to maintain high satisfaction levels in the emotional and sexual relationship.