Today’s not gonna be as painful as it sounds.
We’re talking about vasectomies.
Namely, about a new study from Frankfurt University that says a little outpatient snippity snip can lead to a higher sex drive, stronger erections and better orgasms (plural).
Intrigued, we dialed Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, a nationally-recognized urologic surgeon, TEDx speaker (where he got a shoutout from then-President Obama) and frequent on-air health expert, for his opinion on the validity of the study, who should get one (and when) and why everything you know about the procedure is wrong.
(Oh, and he’s a happy father of three, so don’t take his good-natured vasectomy humor as an assault on parenting.)
InsideHook: The recent study from Frankfurt University says that “vasectomized men had significantly better results ... in the domains of erectile function, orgasm, sexual desire, and intercourse satisfaction.” Is that a surprise to you?
Dr. Brahmbhatt: As a clinician, it’s not a surprise. You’re not worried about pregnancy! Take out stress, and you can experience much more pleasure. Plus, it’s great that a study like this can help guys think about birth control and take initiative. It’s unfair that women have do all the work. That said, that study wasn’t very large. The data was significant, but it’s hard to generalize something based on that [limited] info. But from my experience, yes, men definitely do enjoy sex more afterwards.
IH: What criteria do you consider for men considering vasectomies? Does age matter?DB: Well, not age — a man get one anytime he wants. But it is a mental and physical commitment. I always want the man to have their partner there: this is a mutual decision. Also, I lay out the risks and benefits clearly beforehand. The benefit is birth control, of course. But it doesn’t prevent STDs. And it’s a procedure, so there are risks.
IH: What are the risks?
DB: The biggest misperception is that there’s zero risk. A few people experience post-vasectomy pain, chronic pain in the testicles or nerve irritation. But the benefits of a vasectomy tremendously outweigh the risks.
IH: How difficult is it to reverse one?
DB: I have a unique background: I actually specialize in reversals. But getting one and getting one reversed are two totally different experiences. A vasectomy can take just 10-20 minutes. It’s just me clipping things. A reversal is more like two to four hours; it’s me playing God, putting tubes back together. I tell guys you should consider a vasectomy permanent ... but because of what I do, there is a possibility of reversal.
IH: What about the costs?
DB: Most insurance plans do have coverage. But for some people, it’s actually cheaper to pay cash, especially patients with high deductibles. I know one guy in Orlando who charges under $500. Consider this: If you have a baby, diapers alone might cost that every month (laughs). Reversals, however ... that’s costly. They’re not usually covered, and obviously not 100% effective.
IH: Is the process painful?
DB: You can actually have one fully awake, or take oral medication to relax, or even be under sedation. It’s your preference. Also, you may see some marketing describing a unique way to doing this, but we’re all really doing the same procedure.
IH: Afterwards, what happens?
DB: Well, a lot of guys don’t listen to me, and try to play basketball or have sex the next day. You might see some complications, like swelling or pain. I say, take two days off, get a bag of frozen peas and put ‘em on your balls. You need to let your body heal. Start your everyday routine after two days. In a week, you can go back to [ejaculating]. A few weeks after that, and about 30 ejaculatons, we do a semen analysis. We check your jizz, essentially. And then we let you know if you’re ready to go.
IH: You’re part of the Florida Urologic Society. What do urologists talk about when they get together?
Balls and sex (laughs). Seriously, I went into this field because of my personality. For these kinds of procedures, you need to be able to break down barriers — it’s hard for most guys to talk about erectile dysfunction or testicular pain. You want someone with the ability to communicate and with a sense of humor.