Will a Vasectomy Decrease Your Sex Drive?

A vasectomy is a safe and effective permanent birth control method for men. In fact, vasectomies:

The prevalence of vasectomy in the U.S. and Canada combined is 12%. In Canada, it is the most widely used form of contraception.

The main reasons for why men aren't going through with getting their vasectomies are:

  1. Anxiety about the pain during the surgery (which could be lowered by having a no-scalpel vasectomy).
  2. Fear over how the vasectomy will affect their sex drive.

We're not going to argue; we're sure that men feel a little bit of discomfort during and after a vasectomy. But, what about their concerns about libido?

Doctor showing patient digital tablet
Terry Vine / Getty Images

Does Having a Vasectomy Lower Sex Drive?

There is no negative relationship between a vasectomy and sex drive. This means that having a vasectomy does not lower your sex drive. Why? Because nothing physiologically changes within your body after a vasectomy. Male sterilization does not interfere with the blood vessels or nerves that are required for having an erection or for ejaculation. So, a vasectomy does not cause impotence or lower your ability to maintain an erection. There is no connection between vasectomy and lower sex drive.

After a vasectomy, you will still be able to:

  • Have the same libido and sex drive
  • Have and maintain erections
  • Ejaculate
  • Have an orgasm

Yes, you are reading this correctly: having a vasectomy does not lower sex drive or negatively impact your sexual experiences. And guess what? The color and consistency of your ejaculate/semen will not change either. This is because approximately 95% of male ejaculate (semen) is created in the prostate and seminal vesicles, both of which are not affected at all by a vasectomy.

Also, just in case you are wondering, having a vasectomy will not affect your masculinity. Your testicles and adrenal glands will continue to make testosterone (the hormone that controls masculinity). This means that you will continue to have a sex drive, speak with the same voice, and form facial hair.

So What Does a Vasectomy Do?

A vasectomy prevents sperm from being released into your semen during ejaculation. So, the only thing that will change after having your vasectomy is that your sperm will no longer be ejaculated during your orgasm (but the rest of your semen will be). Because of this, there may be a tiny reduction in the volume of your ejaculate fluid. Now, before you start to worry about that, your sperm only makes up a slight portion of your semen (just around 2-5%). So, you most likely won't even notice the lower volume of your ejaculate fluid.

Some men do report feeling some occasional mild aching in their testicles during sexual arousal. But the good news is that this usually only lasts for the first couple of months after having a vasectomy.

Bottom Line

A vasectomy does not lower sex drive or your ability to enjoy sex. What it does do is prevent you from being able to provide sperm to fertilize an egg. This means that you will no longer be able to help conceive a child. Because a vasectomy is permanent, you should seriously consider your decision to have a vasectomy. This should include discussions between spouses and with medical professionals. It is important that you express all your concerns about having a vasectomy with your healthcare provider (such as lowered sex drive, pain, the opportunity for reversibility, etc.) before having this procedure. Research does show that there is a great need for pre-vasectomy counseling especially in the area of what to expect after having a vasectomy.

Concerns about vasectomy and sex drive should no longer factor into the couple's decision about what form of contraception is best for them.

5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Jacobstein R. The kindest cut: global need to increase vasectomy availability. IntraHealth International. November 12, 2015.

  2. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Will vasectomy affect my sex life? Reviewed December 1, 2016.

  3. Marie Stopes Australia. Vasectomy and your sex life. March 23, 2018.

  4. Rogers K. Semen. Encyclopaedia Brittanica. March 11, 2015.

  5. Harris NM, Holmes SA. Requests for vasectomy: counselling and consent. J R Soc Med. 2001;94(10):510-1. doi:10.1177/014107680109401004.

Additional Reading
  • Cutie CJ, Ongaro TJ. Patient information: Vasectomy. UptoDate. 

  • Family Health International. Final report: A comparative study of the no scalpel and the standard incision method of vasectomy in five countries. Research Triangle Park, NC: Family Health International, 1996.

  • Sandlow JI, Westefeld JS, Maples MR, Scheel KR. Psychological correlates of vasectomy. Fertility and Sterility. 2001;75(3):544-8. Accessed via private subscription.

By Dawn Stacey, PhD, LMHC
Dawn Stacey, PhD, LMHC, is a published author, college professor, and mental health consultant with over 15 years of counseling experience.