Can a Vasectomy Cause Low Testosterone?

vasectomy-and-testosterone-levelsClinically vasectomy has been around for a very long time because it is a simple and effective way of contraception. It is generally believed to be safe, but occasionally there are some side effects, such as postoperative bleeding, fistula of seminiferous tubule, painful nodules, epididymitis with sperm stasis, and the like. When it comes to the impact on testosterone levels, there is a lot of controversy in the medical field. And two opposite conclusions have been made based on the respective study results.

A vasectomy does lower testosterone levels

Although it is still unclear how vasectomy connects with decreased testosterone levels, some studies suggest that a link between them does exist. And the connection could one day be confirmed in the future. Some studies also show that the procedure will make the body’s immune system attack the normal cells. In fact, the anti-sperm as well as other complicated antibodies have been found in the blood after a vasectomy has been performed. In this case, usually testosterone shots or similar treatments are required.

Does vasectomy lower testosterone? For bodybuilders this does matter because testosterone levels and muscle growth are closely related. And this small surgery can cause a 33% drop in testosterone levels, which is the research result made by two Doctor of Medicine – Sergei Antypas MD from Japan [1] and Bernard Geirerhaas MD from Germany. [2]

Now the role of testosterone is quite clear. It helps develop sex organs and determine masculine secondary sex characteristics, including larger bone mass and skeletal size, facial hair, a muscular body, deeper voice, rougher skin, prominent Adam’s apple, lower body fat, and the like.

Vasectomies don’t affect hormone levels

To some extent, this surgery could result in a psychologically castrated male although it does not lower testosterone levels physically. One of the biggest concerns about vasectomy should be the negatively affected male hormone levels. This is because most of people thought that a bad effect is bound to follow in some way after anything close to the gonads has been removed.

To much surprise, there are quite a number of studies that come to the opposite result – testosterone levels have been increased slightly. Here are some study facts as follows:

In fact, this tendency is manifested in a variety of healthy people groups. [3][4] And the tendency remains the same even though this is a long-term follow-up of patients. [5][6]

Even so, it is absurd to look to increase testosterone through this small surgery since no significant testosterone increase has been found in postoperative male. [7]

However, apparently this is far from a satisfactory answer. This is simply because as ordinary people we don’t know who could follow in terms of the connection between vasectomy and low testosterone levels. It seems that what we can do is just to wait and see what will happen next in the future.

REFERENCES

1. Antypas, S., et al. Bilateral effect of unilateral vasectomy on testicular testosterone biosynthesis. Journal of Pediatric Surgery 29: 828-831, 1994.
2. Geirerhaas, B., et al. Morphological and hormonal changes following vasectomy in rats, suggesting a functional role for Leydig-cell associated macrophages. Hormone Metabolism Research 23: 373, 1991.
3. Br J Cancer, 1988 March, 57(3): 326–331, “Vasectomy, cigarette smoking, and age at first sexual intercourse as risk factors for prostate cancer in middle-aged men.”
4. Fertil Steril, 1988 Feb, 49(2):309-15, “Annual variation in semen characteristics and plasma hormone levels in men undergoing vasectomy.”
5. J of Urology, Dec 1995, 154(6):2065-2069.
6. Fertil Steril, 1976 Feb, 27(2):144-51, “An investigation of plasma hormone levels before and after vasectomy.”
7. Fertil Steril, 1975 Apr, 26(4):329-30, “Plasma testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone after vasectomy.”

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