5

votes

What do you think of vasectomies?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 15, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Aside from the complications of surgery/anesthesia, do you think there are any negative health consequences from a vasectomy? E.g., some effect on hormones? Certainly not a very "paleo" thing to do at any rate.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on December 19, 2012
at 03:19 PM

Thanks for posting here and welcome!

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:04 AM

Local anesthesia is the standard practice now (and for at least the past 15 years, when I got mine) for a vasectomy.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:02 AM

Luckily, I didn't get that. I did, however, get a post-op staff infection that evidently occurs in about 15% of patients. I wish I'd have known that going in...

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:01 AM

One other thing to consider is that the vas deferons are separated, but that's about it. It's minimally invasive, and everything I've read seems to point to the sex hormones and testicular products simply being reabsorbed by the body.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 17, 2012
at 07:00 PM

Also, the anesthesiologist makes a HUGE difference. I've had 4 surgeries under general, 3 times I felt great and fine shortly after waking up, and 1 time I felt TERRIBLE. I just completely reacted to that anesthesiologist's concoction and ended up waking up in the surgery, getting sick, and having to stay in the hospital overnight. It really completely depends on who does it and what they use.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 17, 2012
at 06:58 PM

I thought they could? I recently read a blog by a biologist who live-tweeted his vasectomy. Presumably would be pretty difficult to do if he was under general.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 16, 2012
at 12:44 AM

I already told my boyfriend we are looking into this HARD when it hits Canada.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 15, 2012
at 11:17 PM

I don't know, he does a lot of this under "strong suspicions". Anecdotes and hunches aren't particularly convincing...

0905a0f8cd1e48f6d39fe625a65b6ef1

(2890)

on April 15, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Oh gosh, didn't mean that we all want to be barefoot and preggers and subservient to some bible-thumpin' charicature... only meant that our bodies still live in the distant past, what with monthly menses and all. Whatever our bodies think/want/plot, it is often different from what our minds think/want/plot.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 15, 2012
at 08:19 PM

It is in the works to make it into the USA (projected for 2015)- what makes you think it wouldn't make money in general? It's still being studied right now, and it seems like there is a lot of demand for it once its fully developed.

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on April 15, 2012
at 08:11 PM

"...even though this choice holds the body's secret desire." Ok, that sounds a little "quiver-full" for my tastes but oh well. Everything else, +1

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:31 PM

Thanks all. We still plan to have more children and are at least a few years away from this decision, so I was mostly asking out of curiosity. I agree if surgery is chosen, vasectomy is much better option than tubal ligation. Jamie's post linked below is a very good one.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on April 15, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Holy smokes you rule. All my points for TT.

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7

(1123)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:12 PM

My husband had one well over two years ago, when our youngest was 6 months old. We don't want any more children and were looking for a permanent birth control option. Tubal Ligation is far to invasive, and, for him, this was a simple procedure that took only about an hour of his time. He had no complications and still performs like a champ ;)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on April 15, 2012
at 07:11 PM

::points at @Happy Now:: Yes.

97ffbac59e88bdff6495d0a9b6f70ff7

(555)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:05 PM

I haven't read the literature, but as you probably agree, if there is any chance at all that you could see a drop in sex hormones, don't do it. Having low testosterone is a horrible condition.

E29de61ebb59e6c03d790f0d21645664

(90)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:03 PM

I really wish this would get over here to the US. I've been anxiously watching the studies about it in india for years!

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on April 15, 2012
at 06:43 PM

Excellent post!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 15, 2012
at 06:25 PM

Dude, doesn't really change a damn thing from what I've read. There are some folks who believe sperm retention aids in maintaining energy levels, and you would have that done for you mechanically in a few minutes rather than years of meditation and practice......and it is waaaaay less invasive than tubal ligation for the ladies, so if this is game of contraception chicken you are playing with a special someone in your life and trying to use the "but it's not paleo" defense, just man up and get the snip snip.

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19 Answers

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9
89a3eb9e05b04102f0a584e438a7da3e

(1136)

on April 15, 2012
at 06:27 PM

Jamie has a post about vasectomy that is worth reading for anyone considering it and worried about (non-obvious) consequences:

http://thatpaleoguy.com/2012/01/27/vasectomy-a-trigger-for-autoimmune-disease/

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on April 15, 2012
at 06:43 PM

Excellent post!

17
0905a0f8cd1e48f6d39fe625a65b6ef1

(2890)

on April 15, 2012
at 06:19 PM

I am not a doctor or a researcher, and can't tell you whether a vasectomy will cause issues for you. But I wanted to answer in a philosophical way...

We live in a world where our minds and culture have evolved faster than our bodies. We choose career and family, or career over family, and those decisions are considered the norm in our society. Those who choose to stay home and raise large families are becoming the exception, even though this choice holds the body's secret desire.

We've developed artificial means of birth control as a way to allow us to have a fun and spontaneous sex life without worry of pregnancy, but these means all come at a cost. It seems to be that hormonal birth control such as the pill or the various shots that women endure have bigger, more negative effects than a vasectomy has on a man.

(I should mention that there is a segment of the Paleo population that uses some version of natural family planning, and believes that it is as effective as any other method of birth control barring sterility.)

On the scale of Terrible Things, a vasectomy seems, to me, to be pretty close to an almost-insignificant number. Yes, it must mess with a man's system. But perhaps that cost is worth having a worry-about-pregnancy-free sex life. You still have to consider the whole issue of STD's if you are a single guy who doesn't want children.

Every choice we make in life has consequences. Sometimes they are better than others, and sometimes they are worth the cost. You don't get a free ride on this planet, even if you guzzle coconut oil and dip yourself in an arctic lake after each meal.

Make the best decision for your own life, and honor it. If you don't ever want to father children, a vasectomy is a valid and good choice.

0905a0f8cd1e48f6d39fe625a65b6ef1

(2890)

on April 15, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Oh gosh, didn't mean that we all want to be barefoot and preggers and subservient to some bible-thumpin' charicature... only meant that our bodies still live in the distant past, what with monthly menses and all. Whatever our bodies think/want/plot, it is often different from what our minds think/want/plot.

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on April 15, 2012
at 08:11 PM

"...even though this choice holds the body's secret desire." Ok, that sounds a little "quiver-full" for my tastes but oh well. Everything else, +1

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on April 15, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Holy smokes you rule. All my points for TT.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:01 AM

One other thing to consider is that the vas deferons are separated, but that's about it. It's minimally invasive, and everything I've read seems to point to the sex hormones and testicular products simply being reabsorbed by the body.

6
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on April 15, 2012
at 09:32 PM

I'm female, but I'd like to chime in. My husband had a vasectomy about a year ago. We have two kids, both of which I had via emergency c-section (tried for a VBAC with the second). We had both decided already that we would be done with two kids, so there were a couple of options:

1) tubal ligation -- I've heard SO many horror stories from women who've ended up with horrible hormonal changes from TL and/or ectopic pregnancies that the option was immediately out.

2) hormonal birth control -- Over 50% of the women on my mother's side of the family have had female-specific cancers, all estrogen-sensitive. That option was out.

3) NFP (natural family planning) -- Okay, so that made the short list. On the table, sure.

4) vasectomy -- not invasive (my hubby would be mildly sedated with local anesthesia). Some recovery time; possible pain. He'd be in and out of the military hospital within about two hours. No heavy lifting for a little while, but no major issues predicted.

In the end my husband decided to go ahead with the vasectomy. We're almost 30 and have two kids, and he felt that it was a better idea than me having an invasive surgery/complications or being on hormonal bc. He is standing here as I type and has not had any post-procedure pain. However, 20 years ago his father DID have some pain (apparently). So your mileage may vary.

I can say that from my perspective it was nice to have my husband offer to undergo the procedure and take a little of the load off my shoulders for family planning. We've been together for 10 years and are absolutely certain that two children are enough (unless for some reason the vasectomy fails at some point, and then we'll be happy with the surprise if we need to be).

Oh- my husband's libido has not changed a bit, unless for the better since we don't have to 'worry' anymore.

I think that it might make sense for a guy in a committed relationship, or one who REALLY never wants to have kids. That's why most docs want a man to be in his 30s and have kids already (at least with military medicine, which is what we deal with). Other posters are right in that you'd still have to deal with STDs as a single guy (or a not-single guy with multiple partners).

5
449e19bbd371a87b653b9b8b56736005

(1567)

on April 15, 2012
at 06:39 PM

There's a treatment in India that's basically a reversible, non-hormonal, non-surgical vasectomy called RISUG/Vasalgel ( http://www.newmalecontraception.org/risug.htm ). Sadly, it'll probably never make it in the US because it's not a money-maker for the FDA.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 15, 2012
at 08:19 PM

It is in the works to make it into the USA (projected for 2015)- what makes you think it wouldn't make money in general? It's still being studied right now, and it seems like there is a lot of demand for it once its fully developed.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 16, 2012
at 12:44 AM

I already told my boyfriend we are looking into this HARD when it hits Canada.

E29de61ebb59e6c03d790f0d21645664

(90)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:03 PM

I really wish this would get over here to the US. I've been anxiously watching the studies about it in india for years!

4
77044937ddf527ee541b7fb396887a94

on December 19, 2012
at 09:25 AM

I see I've been linked here, so I'll share my experience and update what I have written in my blog on the subject. I am coming up to one year post-vasectomy. I went through a Family Planning Clinic in Christchurch, NZ. They perform something hundreds of these procedures per year in this one clinic (only one day per week). Out of 5 males working in our office, only one is now "intact". Some of the guys had theirs done well over a decade ago. None report having had any problems. I spent a decade training guys at one of the largest gyms in Christchurch, many of whom also had a vasectomy. None that I know of had any issues. I have spoken to a well-known paleo GP here in Australia previously about vasectomies when I first started researching them, mentioning the number of online reports of vasectomy horror stories. He made two valid points; 1. People who are happy with how things went generally don't feel they have to go on the internet and let the world know. Those who for whatever reason aren't, generally do - skewing the "data" 2. He seemed to think that their was a lot of artificial reporting of vasectomy/contraception horrr/fail stories, put there by various religious groups in an effort to discourage people from the practice. I don't know if this is true, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least.

I had only minor bruising for a day or two after. I did dose up large on fish oil capsules post-procedure, and I took analgesia that night as a (needless) preventitive strategy. I needed no pain relief at any point after.

Everything "worked as it should" when tested.

All of my swimmers were gone by the first test.

I have had two episodes of vague discomfort on my left side (almost like a blue balls feeling) - both well-spaced and both gone within a few hours. No patterns to them that I can see Possibly related to sexual activity at the time??

I have had a vague sensation that something is "disconnected" down there. This lasted from the time of the procedure through to the last couple of months. This has had no effect on function, and from my reading may be related to a disruption in acetylcholine transmission along the vas deferens. It definitely felt more like a sensory issue than anything else. Interestingly, that disconnected feeling has disappeared. And no - I haven't had the wires spontaneously reconnect!

I wrote on the blog re: autoimmune relationships. I am not convinced by the evidence.

I read many studies prior to getting the procedure done. I would not have had it done had there been any convincing and robust evidence regarding lowered testosterone status. What strikes me, however, is that most men seem to be of a certain age when getting one done (late 30's to 40's). And when you look around at the general population (the ones who would be studied), what do you think their testosterone levels are like?? How are they eating, sleeping, exercising? How do you separate that background noise out from what might be occuring post-vasectomy?

Overall - no problems, no regrets, and more importantly no kids. Oh, and a whole lot of fun. ;)

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on December 19, 2012
at 03:19 PM

Thanks for posting here and welcome!

4
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on April 17, 2012
at 04:15 AM

My husband had a vasectomy in 2005, when our children were two and five. He had a longer than normal recovery period because his job is active, but it hasn't caused him any pain or discomfort since. After having two babies, I was very grateful that he was willing to have this procedure done. At the time, I was a good twenty-five years from menopause, and felt relieved to know that I will never need to use condoms or any other form of birth control ever again. We have friends whose vasectomies were more complicated and regret the decision, but we have no regrets, and my libido has definitely increased due to the removal of fear of pregnancy. I think that with a skilled and experienced doctor, this is can be a great option for a man who is completely sure he does not want (more)children. Know that although the procedure can be reversed, there is no guarantee that the reversal will result in fertility.

4
E29de61ebb59e6c03d790f0d21645664

on April 15, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Please be sure to do research into Post Vasectomy Pain Syndrome. It's a very real thing that happens to a decent amount of men when they receive a vasectomy, and many don't even know it exists, and their doctor never mentions it.

My (now) ex domestic partner had a vasectomy and developed PVPS, and the painful erections and orgasms close to ruined his life, and it did ruin our relationship. He has now been through two painful procedures to remedy the problem (nerve stripping, and when that did not help, a reversal).

I do know plenty of guys that have had no problems after the procedure, but it is worth knowing that it does not always end up perfect even if the procedure was done well.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:02 AM

Luckily, I didn't get that. I did, however, get a post-op staff infection that evidently occurs in about 15% of patients. I wish I'd have known that going in...

3
8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on April 15, 2012
at 08:15 PM

Most of the men I've know who have gotten snipped don't regret it in the slightest. They've been happy with it. I've known a couple men who have gotten the procedure.

//I've known a few more who should have....

2
Ab566019baa884ec9e3327c108586ff8

(1055)

on April 22, 2012
at 01:40 AM

It's the nicest thing my husband has ever done for me - so freeing to not ever have that worry or concern again!

2
27361737e33ba2f73ab3c25d2699ad61

(1880)

on April 17, 2012
at 04:17 PM

Hubby has been very happy with his -- he had it done over a decade ago and it was an office procedure. He said the worst part was the smell of burning flesh... no pain though -- they gave him local anesthesia.

2
D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on April 15, 2012
at 11:21 PM

Had one a few weeks ago. Still need to do the follow up test to determine if it wasn't a success.

Each couple needs to decide for their own circumstance, for me I dearly wished for more kids, at least another. But after our second my wife called it done. Two pregnancies that involved bad complications for her.

Just seemed after all the alternatives that the best alternative was for me to be the hero and take one for the team. C'est la vie.

2
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 15, 2012
at 08:25 PM

I think a vasectomy is a good idea for any guy that is done having all the babies he and his partner desires OR he has no drive to have any children ever. If we didn't want babies, I would totally sit my partner down for a chat about his interest in getting one, because guaranteeing a pregnancy-free sex life is no picnic. I mean, the alternative being tubal ligation, at least a vasectomy is less invasive. It's not going to mess with your hormones, because it's not like they're knocking out your testicles or anything. There are a few post-surgery conditions to be aware of, like anything, but it is a very commonly performed procedure with very rare occurrences of negative experiences. Quick snip or a lifetime of barrier method birth controls? Maybe I'm biased as a lady, but quick snip seems like a better long-term option!

2
2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 15, 2012
at 06:31 PM

I know one or two who should have had them

1
Cec2bd0862a9d078fa2d98b421c3c9a8

on May 11, 2012
at 10:56 PM

OK......

I had a NSV 3 weeks ago, do not do this....

I developed a huge hematoma, I went to a reputable clinic. This is serious stuff, I am in a tone of pain and I have a3 - 4 month recovery.

I can not stand or sit....

Thank god I am self employed and have no debt and a healthy business. I can chill out and not worry about the finanances but my summer is shot....

Piss me off.

google scrotal hematoma - Nice work Dr. Dingleberries......

Butchered.

1
3408e1d1c7d6b49fca2edb96b433ff9b

on April 17, 2012
at 04:27 AM

I had to have a partial hysterectomy a few years ago, for medical reasons.. I had a very large tumor that wouldn't respond to anything... obviously a very different thing, but I would NEVER EVER recommend anyone to have any elective procedure. I had a severe negative reaction to the anesthesia and I swear to God I will be on death's door before I ever go through another surgery again. However, I basically had to do it, and it has had its benefits for sure. Maybe they can do a vasectomy with only localized? LOL!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 17, 2012
at 07:00 PM

Also, the anesthesiologist makes a HUGE difference. I've had 4 surgeries under general, 3 times I felt great and fine shortly after waking up, and 1 time I felt TERRIBLE. I just completely reacted to that anesthesiologist's concoction and ended up waking up in the surgery, getting sick, and having to stay in the hospital overnight. It really completely depends on who does it and what they use.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 17, 2012
at 06:58 PM

I thought they could? I recently read a blog by a biologist who live-tweeted his vasectomy. Presumably would be pretty difficult to do if he was under general.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:04 AM

Local anesthesia is the standard practice now (and for at least the past 15 years, when I got mine) for a vasectomy.

1
5b5abb28f3cacf4f5a01497f2895d072

(238)

on April 15, 2012
at 08:30 PM

You ought to check the articles on http://marriedmansexlife.com/ definitely not in favor of this procedure.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 15, 2012
at 11:17 PM

I don't know, he does a lot of this under "strong suspicions". Anecdotes and hunches aren't particularly convincing...

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 15, 2012
at 07:12 PM

I am sorry, but I don't think it is natural. It is very honorable of you to care about not overpopulating the world, but...

Why would you want to deliberately go through an invasive surgery? You are probably such a brave guy. I wish I would be half as brave - I refused to do a gastroscopy, I thought it was too invasive.

I understand, everybody has his own reasons. But... unless you need it for medical reasons, leave your body the way it is.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 15, 2012
at 06:02 PM

Totally not Paleo....J/k

1
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on April 15, 2012
at 05:56 PM

I don't... seriously though, I would not mess with my body to that much of an extreme. (whatever the diet)

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