The Risks of a Vasectomy : A guide to Vasectomy

All surgery has risks and vasectomy is no different. The risks are very small but do happen and you need to be aware of these before making a decision.

The majority of men undergo this procedure without any problems and return to work almost immediately. You can expect to feel some mild pain in the days following surgery but this is normal and can be controlled by painkillers.

If you experience chronic pain then seek medical help.

Couple of disadvantages

There are a couple of disadvantages to having a vasectomy which include:

  • Regret at having the surgery although there is the option of a vasectomy reversal.
  • Having to wait until you are given the ‘all clear’ (no sperm) as a result of a semen test.

Side effects

There are short term risks or side effects which include:

  • Bruising and swelling
  • Bleeding (haematoma)
  • High temperature
  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • Testicles feel ‘full’ (due to build up of sperm in the epididymis)
  • Formation of a lump due to sperm leaking into the skin tissue (known as ‘sperm granulomas’)

Long term effects include the risk of the tubes rejoining which would restore fertility; post-vasectomy pain syndrome (PVPS), suggested link to dementia and psychological problems such as depression.

Complications with vasectomy are rare but they can happen. If you experience any of these then contact your GP or surgeon as soon as possible.

‘Post-vasectomy pain syndrome’

This is an unwanted after effect of a vasectomy and is characterised by pain, swelling around the scrotum and in the lower abdomen and problems with getting an erection.

This can be caused by any of the following:

  • Poor or badly done surgery
  • Scarring
  • An obstruction
  • Internal swelling

This pain is commonly experienced during sexual intercourse or ejaculation and it has a negative effect upon one’s sex life. Some men state that it is like having a ‘constant dull ache in the testicles’.

It is not completely understood as to why this happens so you may find that some surgeons will warn you about this whereas others don’t. But it is a risk factor.

If this does occur then treatment is either a vasectomy reversal or removal of the testicles themselves.

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