Why Do Men Fear Vasectomies?

Hey guys, quick question: on a masculinity scale of one to 10, how would you rate yourself?

For all you tough guys who put yourselves anywhere near 10, how many of you are brave enough to get a vasectomy?

Nothing like the thought of getting snipped to make a man humble.

A guy may be willing to sacrifice his life for his wife, but he’s not brave enough to sacrifice his sperm. Go figure.

Where does this fear of getting a vasectomy come from? Mainly from misconceptions about the procedure. Don’t worry fellas, we’re here to ease your concerns and give you some facts about vasectomies.

Here are the primary fears men have about vasectomies and the truths that may give you the courage to undergo the procedure.

FEAR #1: PAIN

Let’s start with the most obvious fear—pain. This is understandable, as the thought of having your scrotum sliced open can make any man quiver. But the truth is, there is no scrotum cutting in a vasectomy!

Most vasectomies today are a non-scalpel procedure, meaning there’s no incision. Instead, doctors make a tiny puncture in the scrotum and stretch the skin to access the vas deferens. It doesn’t even require stitches. It’s a non-invasive procedure, and most guys don’t feel anything because they get a local anesthesia.

Local anesthesia is similar to what you’d get when a dentist numbs your gums to do a filling. So at most, you’ll feel a slight pulling sensation. Contrast this with a tubal ligation, which is more invasive and may require a general anesthesia.

After the procedure, you may feel some soreness or have swelling, but if you follow doctor instructions and ice the area and rest, you shouldn’t have too much discomfort.

FEAR #2: IMPACT ON SEX LIFE

Another reason guys are afraid of a vasectomy is they think it will hinder their sex drive. A vasectomy makes you infertile, not impotent.

You’ll still have erections, you’ll still produce the same amount of testosterone, and you’ll still produce sperm. You’ll still ejaculate. The only difference is sperm cells will no longer leave your body in the semen. A vasectomy severs the tube that transports sperm—that’s it.

All your male parts will work the same. In fact, a vasectomy may improve your sex life because there are no worries about getting your wife pregnant.

FEAR #3: WHAT IF IT DOESN’T WORK

We’ve all heard the stories of guys who get their wife pregnant after a vasectomy. Sure, that’s a legitimate concern. You muster up the courage to have the procedure, and then it doesn’t work? What a waste!

Well, chances are the procedure worked. Less than 1 percent of vasectomies fail. If sperm slips into the semen, it’s usually because of a guy’s negligence.

After the surgery, you’re not home free. You can resume sex about a week after the procedure, but sperm still live in your vas deferens for several months. So you have to use another form of birth control for a while.

When are you in the clear? About three months (or 20-30 ejaculations) after the vasectomy, you need to check your sperm count to make sure you’re sterile. I know what you’re thinking: Oh brother, another trip to the doctor and more money out of my pocket.

Well, not exactly. You can check your sperm count at home with SpermCheck, an over-the-counter male fertility test. It tells you if you’re sterile in the comfort of your own home instead of a clinic.

If the test shows you’re sterile, you’re finally home free and don’t have to worry about a surprise pregnancy.

FEAR #4: DOES IT INCREASE RISK OF CANCER?

Side-effects are a legitimate concern about any procedure, especially if cancer is one of them. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, some studies suggested a link between vasectomies and prostate cancer.

However, many questioned the quality of the research of those studies. Researchers reviewed 53 studies examining the link between vasectomies and prostate cancer risk and found that there might be a 0.6 percent increase risk of prostate cancer from a vasectomy.

Many studies since the 1990s haven’t found a link between vasectomies and the disease, and both the National Cancer Institute and the American Urological Association say that a vasectomy doesn’t increase the risk of prostate cancer.

All guys have fears, even if they won’t admit them. But when you educate yourself about the things you fear, they become less intimidating. A vasectomy is nothing to fear. About half a million guys have one each year. So man up and take one for the team. It might just boost your masculinity rating.