Sex After Vasectomy: Getting Snip Leads to Better Orgasms, Scientists Discover

Januari McKay of AIDS Healthcare Foundation waits to hand out free condoms to cars passing by on East Capitol Street outside the Benning Stoddert Recreation Center in Washington, D.C., on May 24, 2013. New research may help vasectomies beat out condoms as men’s preferred birth control option. The study from Germany found that men often have more sex, experience better erections and orgasms, and have generally higher sex drives following the procedure. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Vasectomies are losing their popularity, but a study from earlier this year may suggest a reason to reconsider this minimally invasive procedure as a method for birth control. The research from Germany found that men often have more sex, experience better erections and orgasms, and have generally higher sex drives following the procedure.

It’s not that surprising that vasectomies are one of the least popular of all birth control methods. Not only are they pretty permanent, but their colloquial phrase “the snip” brings to mind a procedure that is far more gruesome than the reality. In truth, not only are vasectomies reliable, they also have the unexpected side effect of boosting the sex life of some men.

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In the study, published earlier this year in the Central European Journal of Urology, scientists in Germany interviewed 294 couples in which the male had recently undergone a vasectomy. The men and their partners were surveyed using the International Index for Erectile Function (IIEF) and the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaires to gauge their sex lives and sex satisfaction following the procedure. Replies of 90 men and 74 women were included in the research.

Results revealed that of those men, 12.4 percent reported having sex more often after the vasectomy, while only 4.5 percent of men reported having sex less often. In addition, vasectomized men reported better erectile function, better orgasms, more sexual desire and overall more sexual satisfaction.

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“Vasectomy does not have a negative impact on the sexual satisfaction of the affected couples,” the study concluded. “In fact, sexual satisfaction improved for the sterilized men, while the satisfaction of the women was not reduced by the vasectomy.”

Vasectomies are considered among the safest and most effective methods of birth control, with the National Institutes of Health reporting that only 15 to 20 of every 10,000 couples will experience a pregnancy, compared to 1,400 of every 10,000 couples who use a condom and 500 of every 10,000 couples who use the birth control pill.

During the procedure, a urologist will make two small incisions in the scrotum and use these to access the vas deferens, a section of the male reproductive system that transports sperm from the epididymis, where sperm grows and matures, to the ejaculatory ducts, where sperm is ejaculated. This is done on both testicles. The procedure is quick and often requires no stitches, as the incision is so small it can heal on its own. Men usually go home the same day as the procedure and are considered fully recovered usually in less than a week, the NIH report.

Despite the ease and benefits, Guttmacher Institute national polls reveal that vasectomies are far from America’s favorite contraceptive method, with only 8 percent of all contraceptive users opting for this choice. It’s not clear if these new surprising benefits will do anything to shift these numbers.