Helping Seniors Live Healthier Lives

5 Myths About Vasectomy

If you have decided you do not want any more children, you might be considering getting a vasectomy. Having this operation is often a lot easier than relying on female birth control in the long term. However, you may be a little nervous about the prospect of a vasectomy because of some myths you have heard. Here is a look at five vasectomy myths that just aren't true.

Myth #1: You will have trouble ejaculating after a vasectomy.

Many men are under the false assumption that a vasectomy stops them from ejaculating. (You may have heard that you'll orgasm, but that no fluid will come out.) This is not the case. The vasectomy procedure only involves cutting the vas deferens, the tube that leads from the testicles to your urethra. The various glands that produce fluid will still do their job, but the fluid that is released will no longer contain sperm. So, you can have intercourse and ejaculate as normal, but you don't have to worry about pregnancy resulting from any ejaculate that is released.

Myth #2: A vasectomy is like being neutered.

You may have had a dog or cat neutered in the past. Some men assume that having a vasectomy is essentially the same thing. It's not. Neutering is a procedure in which the entire testicles are removed. In a vasectomy, your testicles are left completely intact. They are not touched at all. The vas deferens are not even removed -- they are just snipped and tied. As such, once you are healed, your external anatomy will look exactly the same post-vasectomy as it looks currently.

Myth #3: Your testosterone levels will plummet after a vasectomy.

Low testosterone levels can have a profound impact on a man, leading to a loss of libido, a loss of muscle mass, and feminization of the body. Clearly, you do not want your testosterone levels to fall -- and they won't fall as a result of a vasectomy. This is because the procedure leaves your testicles intact. The testicles are responsible for producing testosterone, and that hormone still makes its way into your bloodstream even though your vas deferens have been severed.

Myth #4: There is no way to reverse a vasectomy.

A vasectomy is often seen as a completely final procedure. However, there are ways to reverse the procedure if you later change your mind and desire to have more children. A surgeon can reopen the incisions and reattach the previously severed vas deferens. This procedure can be a bit complicated, and there are instances in which it is not successful. However, it is misleading to present a vasectomy as a completely irreversible procedure as that is not the truth.

Myth #5: Having a vasectomy is harder than having your partner get her tubes tied.

Some men believe it will be easier for their female partners to have their tubes tied than for them to have a vasectomy. However, this is not the case. Having the fallopian tubes tied is an abdominal surgery. Your female partner would have to have an incision made in her abdomen, and she would need several weeks to recover -- during which she may not be able to work. A vasectomy only involves two tiny cuts in the scrotum. You'll have some minor pain for a few days, but you should be able to head back to work rather quickly. The risks are far lower than with a female sterilization procedure.

Don't let these myths scare you off from having a vasectomy. It's a great way to prevent unwanted pregnancies as you move forward in life.