Yes. These statistics are WAY higher than what other studies have shown, but I think vasectomy studies have been poorly done. The topic is subtle and loaded with misunderstandings, self-deception and fudged communication. The questionnaires must be crafted carefully and the studies need to be designed cleverly to tease these issues out into the open. By and large, I think the scientists have not really wanted to find out anything bad about vasectomy and consequently were unable to bring the necessary level of creativity and effort to ask the right questions in the right way.
Look at the intro to a classic study:
The incidence of chronic testicular pain following vasectomy has not been previously assessed. We have carried out a survey by postal questionnaire and telephone interview of 172 patients 4 years after vasectomy to assess the incidence of chronic testicular pain. … Only 3 patients regretted having had the vasectomy because of chronic pain.
The “only” there gives the game away. That’s “only” 70,000 men every year who regret the vasectomy because of chronic pain. They regret the vasectomy even though it protects them from another child, even though it means no more condoms, even though their partner can quit the pill, even though their partner might feel more sexy and relaxed because she is not worried about getting pregnant. Those are some great things sitting on the positive side of the scale. How bad does the pain have to be on the other side of the scale to tip the scale over toward regret? There are definitely some guys out there who will say they don’t regret it even though sex feels different, or not as good, or they don’t like having their balls played with anymore, or they have a dull ache all the time.
These scientists are investigating with the desire to show how safe vasectomy is, and that desire damages their ability to design the study properly.
So you get studies like this that show that on average, vasectomized men have sex 5.9 times per month, while non-vasectomized men have sex 4.9 times per month. Case closed, vasectomy has only a positive impact on your sex life and everyone can take that to the bank.
But men are individuals. They are not averages across a set of men. So you can still have 5% of the men in constant pain and obliging their wives once a month, and if the other lucky couples are having enough sex, they bring up the average. And if you don’t design you study carefully – in other words, if you design your study the way a person who is not looking very hard would design it – then you don’t get a full picture.