15 min Health What happens to sperm after a vasectomy?

15 min Health What happens to sperm after a vasectomy?

Have you ever wondered what happens to sperm after a man undergoes vasectomy surgery? Once the procedure is performed, the sperm are no longer “ejaculated” out of the man’s body, in the semen, as the transport channels that would take him there have been cut. Okay, but anyway, where do male gametes go post-op? Are they no longer produced?

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It is worth remembering that vasectomy is a contraceptive method developed to prevent men from having children and is considered quite simple, even if it is an invasive procedure. During surgery, the doctor only stops the passage of sperm produced — more specifically, “cuts” the two vas deferens. As a result, gametes can no longer reach the urethra.

After a vasectomy, sperm are reabsorbed by the body itself (Image: Reproduction/Maxxyustas/Envato Elements)

The whole process takes 15 to 20 minutes and is done under local anesthesia. Thus, the patient does not need to be hospitalized, being operated on an outpatient basis.

Where does the sperm go?

“Sperm is still produced by the man’s testes, but is reabsorbed harmlessly by the body,” explains Dr Nish Manek, a graduate of Imperial College London, for Science Focus.

After a vasectomy, the lining of the epididymis — a very long, microscopic duct that stores and transports sperm — ends up absorbing most of the fluid. It is as if the man no longer has sex for long periods, as the sperm will be retained until they decompose in the body.

Time for the procedure to take effect

Vasectomy prevents sperm from being ejaculated into the body (Image: Reproduction/Vladdeep/Envato Elements)

The interruption of spermatozoa does not occur immediately, because some of them may be more advanced than the place that was “cut” in the vas deferens. Thus, the man must adopt other contraceptive methods, such as condoms, for at least 60 days after the procedure.

Does anything change in the erection?

For some people, there is the false idea that vasectomy can cause, for example, erectile disorders. In this sense, it is important to explain that the procedure only makes the man sterile. But it does not interfere with the production of hormones, for example.

“The testes will continue to produce testosterone, and a man’s sex drive, sensation and ability to have an erection will not be affected — the only difference is that there is no sperm in the semen,” recalls Manek.

In addition, the fluid produced in the prostate and seminal vesicle continues to be eliminated normally during ejaculation, but without the sperm. Another fact is that the nerves and blood vessels — those responsible for the erection of the penis — are not involved in the surgery.