Five Reasons Not to Have a Vasectomy…debunked

Men often will risk an unwanted pregnancy because of myths related to a vasectomy. These myths are debunked by a urologist who has done thousands of vasectomies.

As women will all agree, when it comes to pain and medical issues men as a whole are wimps. Take it from me, I sea,e it daily. To their credit, women have had babies and then go through the trials and tribulations of menopause. Not to speak of all the other “monthly” issues they deal with prior to graduating to hot flashes, the final blow that nature delivers to the female. So when the spouse of a women complains about the inconvenience and uncertainties of a vasectomy, the male protestions fall on deaf ears. And rightfully so.

I have noted five reoccurring themes in why men will drag their feet, often up until that last unexpected and unplanned pregnancy before biting the bullet and tying that ole knot…a second time. Several years ago, this happened to a physician colleague of mine. As was usually the case, he had spoken to me on several occasions about wanting to pursue the vasectomy but had not actually gotten around to it. (It reminds me of putting off a dental procedure only to learn that if I had gone to the Dentist sooner I would not have needed a crown or root canal.) Anyway, this friend had the unexpected pregnancy that he did not expect but I had, and he called to have me do the procedure. “I’ll be in your office Sunday morning. I’ll prep myself, you just show up and do it.” I showed up after teaching Sunday school and sure enough there he was with all my vasectomy instruments on the table and his “anatomy of interest” prepped and draped and ready to go. So here we go, five myths or objections that males will use not to have a vasectomy and I will give the counter argument and hopefully limit objections by the male to have the easiest, most effective and least expensive form of birth control.

The five myths and my counter argument:

  • It will hurt. This depends on who does your vasectomy and the method used. If a urologist cognizant of a patient’s concern about pain, there is a lot that can be done to minimize discomfort. This is what I do. I prescribe a sedative and a pain pill orally before they get to my office. I then anesthetize the area with a device called a Madajet. The Madajets sends a burst of lidocaine into the vas and surrounding tissues and very nicely numbs things up without a needle. See for a description of this. It really works and in combination with the pre med, the majority of patients are very pleased and almost always ask me those words I like to hear,”You mean we’re done!”
  • It will affect my erections or the way climax feels.Because all a vasectomy does is take away the sperm portion of the male’s ejaculate, erections and the feeling associated with sex, does not change. Erections are a function of the blood supply to the penis, climax and the ejaculate are related to the prostate and the external sphincter, and none of these functions are affected by tying off the vas tube.
  • It is easier for my wife to do something than me. They are better at medical stuff anyway. In every parameter whether it be cost, inconvenience, down time, ease to perform, and success, the vasectomy can’t be beat. Sorry Mr. Male, good try but this is the weakest of arguments.
  • It will kill my sex drive and cause prostate cancer. Sex drive is related to the male hormone testosterone and not affected by a vasectomy. Numerous studies have looked at any associated relationship to prostate cancer and a vasectomy and none has been identified. You might as well begin getting that ole scrotum ready…you are running out of time and legitimate arguments.
  • It will make my penis shorter. This is not a myth or an objection that I hear. I just thought it would be funny to add. I guess one could reason that if you tie off two tubes that are near the testicles and the penis that conceivably it could elevate the testicles and retract the scrotum. If the male could pull this argument off as a legitimate concern, well that might work, but alas this too has not been shown to be an issue. Men will however try anything to get out of a vasectomy and I wouldn’t put this one past them.

So, to you men out there, if you don’t want anymore children, a vasectomy can be done in about 10 minutes, in an outpatient setting, with no pain, minimal time out of work and it will make your wife happy.

Myth number six is a reverse myth of sorts: If the male has a vasectomy and the wife is now not concerned that she will get pregnant then she will be more likely to want to have sex. This is the most damaging myth of all you see. The poor old husband does a procedure that he perceives will ruin his life for the small chance that he’ll have sex more often, and then this doesn’t pan out. The wives out there who have used this technique to seal the deal of the vasectomy are smiling right now. They , and the unfortunate infertile males who fell for it, know who they are and the female side of this is smiling about now.

John McHugh MD

Xtranomal info cartoon on vasectomy by Dr. McHugh

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