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Will a Vasectomy Affect My Sex Life?

When a couple decides they don’t want kids, or would like to stop having kids, they may consider permanent types of birth control. For men this means getting a vasectomy, a permanent procedure that stops semen from reaching the penis. This allows a couple to enjoy the act with no risk of pregnancy. However, there will be changes to adjust to after the procedure that affect everyone involved.

Dr. Mark J. Kelly has been helping patients in the Santa Monica, California, area for decades with many different urological treatments, including vasectomies.

The vasectomy procedure

Both forms of the procedure are outpatient, and both require a local anesthetic. The oldest method is called the incision vasectomy. It requires two small incisions in the scrotum to close off the vas deferens, which is a tube that carries sperm to the penis. In the no scalpel vasectomy, a clamp is used to hold the vas deferens while a needle pokes a small hole in the scrotum. The vas deferens is then pulled and cut.

In both methods once finished, it’s stitched up and set in place. The procedure is painless, though a pulling sensation is typical.

Postprocedure care

Common things to expect post surgery include mild discomfort, bruising and swelling, which should clear up in about three days. Use over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen to manage pain and use ice packs to alleviate swelling and bruising. Dressing should be changed regularly as it dries out, and while showering is permitted, baths and swimming are off limits for a couple of weeks. Masturbation and sex should also be avoided for at least two weeks.

Life after the procedure

It can take up to three months before the semen is completely sterile, so condoms should still be used in that time to avoid pregnancy. Checkups will take place about 6-12 weeks after the procedure to examine the wound and check the sperm count. Once the count reaches zero, using condoms to prevent pregnancy should no longer be necessary. 

Sperm makes up for a small percentage of semen men produce, so it will have little effect on ejaculation.The first few orgasms might be uncomfortable postprocedure, but there will be no overall change in sex drive or pleasure once that has passed. 

Vasectomies are highly effective in permanently preventing pregnancies and far simpler for men to get than for women to go through tubal ligation, where a woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked to prevent eggs from coming in contact with sperm. If you’re considering a vasectomy and want to learn more, make an appointment with Dr. Kelly to find out what works best for you.

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