Possible Effects of Vasectomy on Sexual Function

  • Gordon A. Kinson
Part of the Perspectives in Sexuality book series (Persp. Sex.)


Reference to the effects of occlusion of the vas deferens was made more than 200 years ago by the English surgeon, John Hunter (1775). Some years later, Cooper (1830) experimented with dogs and compared the effects of unilateral vasoligation to occlusion of the vascular supply to the contralateral testis. He subsequently noted that, whereas the testis deprived of its blood supply became gangrenous and necrotic, the gonad subjected to blockade of its ductal outflow retained a healthy appearance. Guyon (1883), a French physician, was then soon to claim that blockade of the vas deferens led to atrophy of the prostate. This encouraged surgeons of the day to use such procedures in an effort to treat conditions involving enlarged prostate glands and diseased epididymides. The practice has continued into modern times even though it was never conclusively demonstrated that vasectomy altered prostate size in man. Only quite recently has evidence emerged to suggest that prostate function is affected after vasectomy. Renewed interest in the possible effects of vasectomy was generated by Steinach (1920) who claimed that vasoligation produced rejuvenating effects in aging men and led to hypertrophy of the interstitium and germinal atrophy of the rat testis.


Luteinizing Hormone Sexual Function Plasma Testosterone Ventral Prostate Germinal Epithelium 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon A. Kinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Canada

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