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Does Vasectomy Lower Testosterone? (4 Things To Know)

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Last updated: January 4, 2023

Approximately half a million men in the U.S. undergo vasectomy procedures yearly.

Those statistics lead to many myths floating around about vasectomies, including whether they can impact testosterone levels.

In my years as a fitness trainer, I have had many clients who have undergone vasectomy procedures ask this very question.

So, I decided to answer it by gathering a lot of information I retrieved from all the research publications I came across and bringing that to our medical professionals for consultation.

Let’s take a look at whether a vasectomy can affect hormone levels.

Quick Summary

  • Evidence suggests a vasectomy is a very effective method of birth control that does not impact sexual function, sex drive, testosterone production, or other hormone levels.
  • Usually a simple outpatient procedure, vasectomy complications are rare, and recovery is typically quick.
  • Studies examining free testosterone and luteinizing hormone levels find no significant difference between men with or without vasectomies.

Does a Vasectomy Lower Testosterone?

Spread legs with two eggs in between

A vasectomy does not lower testosterone levels because it is a medical procedure that only alters the flow of sperm so it cannot reach the seminal fluid.

There is no evidence to suggest that individuals who have undergone vasectomy procedures will not be interested in sexual activity, will not enjoy sex, or not experience sexual satisfaction.

Additionally, vasectomies are not a risk factor for low testosterone levels or other issues with hormones.

One study compared levels of free testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and the testosterone-secreting index (TSI) between men with vasectomies and men without and found no significant differences [1].

Let’s take a closer look at testosterone and vasectomies.

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is an androgen, the primary male sex hormone responsible for sexual function, muscle mass, bone density, and male characteristics like hair growth and a deeper voice.

A hormonal imbalance, particularly a low testosterone level, can adversely affect many body functions in men [2].

Low hormone levels can lead to:

  • Decreased libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of body hair
  • Shrinking testicles
  • Hot flashes
  • Decreased sperm production
  • Depressed mood
  • Lack of concentration
  • Loss of bone density
  • Loss of memory
  • Increased body fat
  • Gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue)
  • Reduced muscle strength
  • Decreased muscle mass

What is a Vasectomy?

Vasectomy crossword puzzle

A vasectomy is permanent male sterilization by disrupting sperm flow in the vas deferens, the tube that carries it to semen.

A vasectomy is usually an outpatient medical procedure with minimal health risks.

Eliminating the supply of sperm to the seminal fluid makes a vasectomy nearly 100% effective at preventing pregnancy without adversely affecting sexual satisfaction, hormonal balance, sexual desire, or other areas of a man’s sex life.

Any medical procedure comes with safety concerns, but current evidence suggests the long-term safety of vasectomies has a solid track record.

However, some low-risk factors exist, including sterilization failure, chronic pain syndrome, and sperm granuloma (a small lump of sperm that leaks out of the cut) [3].

It is important to note that while a vasectomy is safe and a highly effective form of birth control, it does nothing to protect against sexually transmitted diseases, so condoms may still be necessary.

“A vasectomy is a procedure that cuts and seals the tubes that transmit sperm to a man’s ejaculate. As a result, a man shouldn’t be able to get a woman pregnant.”

- Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA

4 Common Myths and Facts

A couple cuddling in bed

There are many misconceptions about vasectomies. Let’s look at what is true and what is not.

1. Your Sexual Performance Will Suffer

No evidence that suggests sexual performance will suffer. Studies show improvement in several areas of a man’s sex life in both physical and mental status [4].

These include:

  • Increased sex drive
  • Improved erection
  • Better orgasms
  • Increased sexual satisfaction
  • More frequent intercourse
  • Increased confidence in sex life

2. Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer or Heart Disease

Naked man with a heart shaped pillow on his lower body

One 38-year study examined the long-term effects of reproductive factors like vasectomy and prostate cancer. The results show there may be a slight risk [5].

Many small studies looking at the risk between vasectomy and cardiovascular disease have yielded conflicting results.

One systematic review analyzing over a dozen studies finds no link between vasectomies and heart disease [6].

3. Your Reproductive Organs Will Be Damaged

A vasectomy only involves the small tube that carries the sperm to the semen and does not involve any other component of your reproductive system.

That said, no procedure is 100% safe, so in rare cases, issues related to the procedure could happen.

4. A Vasectomy Is Permanent

With its low failure rate, a vasectomy is a near-perfect form of birth control for those who are sure they do not want children in the future.

However, if circumstances change and a man wants children with his partner, a vasectomy reversal procedure may be an option.

A reversal restores the flow of sperm to the semen by reconnecting the small tube in which it travels.

There is a wide range of pregnancy rates after a reversal of 30-90%, and there are other factors to keep in mind that influence success [7].

These include:

  • Age of the partner
  • Surgeon experience and training
  • Any pre-vasectomy fertility issues
  • How much time has elapsed since the vasectomy

How to Boost Testosterone

Talking and checking up to a doctor

If you are concerned about your testosterone levels, you should speak to your doctor about your levels, and if they are low due to some underlying health issue, they may suggest testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

If your condition warrants such an intervention, the doctor will determine the best form of TRT available; injection, patches, gel, nasal, and implantable pellets.

This treatment includes a synthetic form of testosterone and carries many potential risks, so it should be a last resort.

Beyond TRT, there are natural ways to boost testosterone levels that carry little to no risk to your overall well-being.

Adding dark leafy greens, fatty fish, cocoa products, avocados, eggs, shellfish, and pomegranates to your diet is a great way to try and increase levels naturally.

Including high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training in your exercise routine is another great way to recoup testosterone, and studies show this approach is more effective than cardio [8].

There are also many great all-natural supplements formulated with science-backed herbs and micro/macronutrients to boost testosterone levels naturally.

When added to proper diet and exercise, these supplements can help restore sex drive, muscle, energy levels, and sexual function adversely affected by low hormone levels.

FAQs

Does a Vasectomy Get Rid of Testosterone?

A vasectomy does not get rid of testosterone; a vasectomy works by preventing sperm from reaching the seminal fluid by cutting and sealing the tube that carries it from the testicles to the penis.

Does Reversing a Vasectomy Increase Testosterone?

Reversing a vasectomy does not increase testosterone levels because it will simply allow sperm to reach the seminal fluid that the vasectomy stopped. Neither procedure creates or treats hormonal imbalances.

The Bottom Line on Whether a Vasectomy Lowers Testosterone

The good news is that a vasectomy will not cause low testosterone.

The great news is you can do something about your low testosterone levels by eating correctly, working out, specifically HIIT and weight training, and adding an all-natural testosterone booster to your fitness routine.

The supplement market is full of options, so finding the right one can be tricky.

We test and review countless products to compile lists of the best ones.

Click the link to find the product that works best for you and begin your testosterone level restoration.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6200721/
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15603-low-testosterone-male-hypogonadism#:
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8255399/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7489671/
  5. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/vasectomy-may-increase-risk-of-aggressive-prostate-cancer/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5572018/
  7. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/vasectomy-reversal/about/pac-20384537#
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5551442/
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