Can a Vasectomy Lower Testosterone Levels?
A vasectomy is an effective, permanent method of birth control for men. Due to its simplicity, safety and effectiveness, vasectomy has remained among the most popular forms of contraception. In addition, vasectomies have a low risk of side effects and complications. This can explain why each year more than half a million men in the U.S. opt to undergo this procedure.
With such popularity, vasectomy procedures have grown to have some common myths and misconceptions circulate around them; one being that a vasectomy may decrease a man’s testosterone levels. When I talk to patients about a vasectomy, I typically have to dispel several popular myths like this one and provide the true answers.
Dispelling the Myth – Vasectomy and Testosterone
While searching for vasectomy on the internet, you might have read articles spreading false information that this procedure affects your testosterone.
Testosterone is an essential hormone, and it helps in developing a man’s sex drive and plays a key role in the production of sperm. Women also generate this hormone but only minimally. Testosterone plays a significant role in many bodily functions of the male body, such as:
- Growing body hair, such as the beard, pubic hair, underarm hair, etc.
- Leveling fat distribution
- Production of red blood cells
- Regulate sex drive and sperm production
- Genital transformation (testicles and penis) when you get mature
- Muscle size and strength
- Bone growth and mass
It’s no wonder that developing low testosterone is a concern for most men and why they may be fearful if a vasectomy can affect testosterone production. However, you’ll be pleased to find out that a vasectomy has nothing to do with increasing or decreasing testosterone levels.
Vasectomy Does Not Affect Production of Testosterone
Your testosterone levels will remain the same, as vasectomy merely redirects your sperm. This operation does not affect your sex life or your physical features that relate to testosterone such as; muscle mass, voice depth, or facial hair, testicle size, etc.,
In fact, some couples report that their sex lives have improved after a vasectomy. A recent study found that 12.4% of men have more frequent sexual intercourse after a vasectomy. This can be due to all sorts of factors, such as feeling more spontaneity without the use of contraception, less fear of pregnancy, etc.
In addition, research about the impacts of vasectomy on sexual satisfaction found that men had higher sex drives after vasectomy.
The only impact to your sex life may be the downtime you experience after the procedure. You can have sex two days after your vasectomy, but you must continue to use some type of contraception until a semen analysis test confirms that you are sterile. It generally takes about 8-12 weeks and 15-20 ejaculations to completely clear out the sperm that remain in the reproductive system, but a few men will not be sperm-free for 5 or 6 months.
In a nutshell, vasectomy does not affect testosterone levels. Once you find out that your procedure was successful, you can continue to enjoy your normal sex life.