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Things to Know about Female and Male Sterilization

In this blog post I am writing things to know about female and male sterilization by sharing some of readership responses.

Dear Saveta, I am 38, my wife and I have two young children and I am thinking I would like to have a vasectomy so that we won't have to use contraception in the future . My worry is this, if for some reason we may want another child later, could the vasectomy be reversed? H.

Dear H, If I were in your situation I would book an appointment with a specialist in vasectomy procedures (bring my partner) and go over all possible scenarios pre and post procedure. This way I think you will be able to make an informed decision. Reversals are possible but from what clients have shared with me about their experiences, the success rate is somewhat low. So be as sure as you can before making such a key decision to you and your family's future.

Here are other questions I have responded to:

Q. What happens to a man's sperm or a woman's eggs after he or she has been sterilized? Do they accumulate inside the testes or ovaries?

A. No, if sperm or ovary are not released they are simply absorbed back into the body.

Q. If a man has a vasectomy will he lose interest in sex or be unable to get an erection?

A. No, a vasectomy stops sperm from reaching the outside. It does not affect the testes which continue to produce the hormone testosterone that fuels the libido as normal. The man's desire for sex and ability to get erections should remain as they were before the operation. He will also continue to ejaculate as before because semen production does not stop after production.

Q. Does female sterilization bring on menopause?

A. No, the operation does not affect a woman's ovaries (the organs that produce the hormones that control her menstrual cycle). Menopause will occur at the age it would have happened had she not been sterilized.

Q. Does sterilization result in a man or woman losing their interest in sex?

A. No, in general neither male nor female sterilization has any deleterious effect on an individual’s sex drive. In fact his or her libido may be enhanced because there is no longer any need to worry about contraception or pregnancy.

Q. Is sterilization the best contraceptive option for women in their forties?

A. Not necessarily. The IUD may be an alternative for this age group.

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