There’s an interesting connection between vasectomy and depression—what you need to know about it

Before having a vasectomy, you may have a number of questions about what to expect: Is it a painful procedure? How long is recovery after surgery? Are there any side effects?

Although many people are primarily concerned with the physical effects, it is important to consider mental health as well. According to research, psychological complications such as depression are more likely to occur after vasectomy, and those with a history of mental illness or family problems also lack adequate pre-procedure counseling.

Specifically, the researchers examined a 30-year-old patient who had been married for 7 years, suffering from pain and fatigue. A few years before that, she started showing signs of depression and had a vasectomy four years later. The patient’s family did not support the procedure due to health and safety concerns, nor did he receive any prior medical advice.

Previous research suggests that there are many risk factors for psychological distress after vasectomy, including previous marital and sexual difficulties, pre-existing mental health conditions, and negative health perceptions of the procedure. Some of these factors were present in the patient.

The researchers concluded that proper screening and counseling of candidates for vasectomy can reduce the risk of mental complications.

The relationship between vasectomies and depression

“Regret can lead to post-vasectomy depression. Even if you have children, you will feel sad that your ability to have children has ended. “If you have never had children, this decision can be final.” Dr. Sanam Hafiz, A neuropsychologist based in New York, director of Understanding the Mind. “If you are pressured by your partner to do the procedure, it can make the man more prone to depression and cause problems in the relationship due to resentment.”

Just as some women are saddened by menopause, some men may feel less masculine because of their inability to have children. Coping with different emotions about the procedure can lead to different levels of depression, depending on whether or not someone is prone to depression and how ambivalent they are about the surgery. adds Hafiz.

Related: 21 Things You Should Never Say to Someone Who’s Depressed (And What to Say Instead)

Gail Saltz MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital and How can I help? The iHeartRadio podcast, okay. Depression after a vasectomy may be a coincidence, but it’s also true that the procedure has a huge psychological impact on many men.

It can cause virility, loss of fertility, hope for immortality through progeny, imaginary children of the future, and unexpected feelings about their overall masculinity, says Dr. Saltz. These perceived losses can increase sadness, grief, and anxiety, which can lead to depression.

Risk factors for post-vasectomy psychological problems

If someone has anxiety disorders or depression, they may be more prone to post-surgery depression than someone without these issues. Going into the procedure without being armed with all the facts is a risk of depression.

If you have a life partner, this should be a decision that is weighed and discussed over time. It should never be an impulsive decision, Dr. Hafiz says. The urologist should be able to talk with the patient about the emotions of men before and after surgery. Just as women should not change their bodies to please a man, a man should make this decision with 100% confidence that it is what he wants.

Also, feeling ambivalent and conflicted about the procedure can lead to an increase in negative feelings later, Dr. Saltz explains. Military conflicts and sexual dysfunction add to the type of stress that can contribute to stress and the development of depression.

Reducing the risk of post-vasectomy depression

Some men are saddened by the loss of a woman, unable to conceive. If anger and resentment force them to make a decision, it can happen next. It is important to talk to a urologist and understand the physical and mental consequences of the procedure, Dr. Hafiz explains.

Talking to other men of a similar age and situation can also be helpful. The man also needs to be sure that this is what he wants and that he is not doing it to appease his partner.

If in doubt, a man should seek advice before undergoing the procedure, Dr. Hafiz says. If all the “safeguards” have been taken before a mental vasectomy and the person becomes depressed, he or she should seek help from a licensed mental health professional.

It means psychotherapy, Dr. Saltz explains.

Next, it’s important to recognize the early signs and symptoms of depression so they can be addressed medically before more serious depression develops. Partner support is just as important as any major life stressor.

Next: Here’s what “Medical Gaslighting” means and how to know if you’re a victim


  • Journal of Mental Disorders: “Depression after vasectomy: A case report and review of the literature”.

  • Dr. Sanam Hafeez, NYC neuropsychologist, director of Understanding the Mind

  • Gail Soltz, MD, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital and host of iHeartRadio’s “How Can I Help?” Podcast host.

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