Vasectomy Side Effects

The Possible Side Effects Of Vasectomy

While there are side effects of vasectomy, for the most part they are seldom serious or even bothersome, though a few days of recovery time and usually a few weeks of taking it easy is advisable.

Sometimes the worst side effects of vasectomy are listed as its irreversibility. Irreversibility however should not be considered a side effect. Irreversibility is a given, and if there is a side effect in this respect, it would be due to a change of heart - a little late.

Unplanned Events - Another of the side effects of vasectomy is an unplanned pregnancy. What some do not realize is that sperm do not instantly disappear once the procedure has been completed. What a vasectomy does is to block the passage of the sperm produced in the testes from mixing with semen, which acts a carrier or transporting fluid. While a vasectomy will effectively block sperm, some will still be present for several weeks, and a man is still capable of making a woman pregnant following the procedure, thought he chances are lessened.

Swelling Of the Testes- Insofar as the physical side effects of vasectomy are concerned, the most common is a swelling of the testicles, a condition known as epididymitis/orchitis. Pain and inflammation may accompany the swelling. This side effect doesn't necessarily occur immediately after the procedure but may emerge some months later. The swelling is sometimes a cause for alarm, though it is rarely harmful. The condition can sometimes occur several times during the first year following the vasectomy. The condition is easily treated, usually by applying heat, with the swelling usually going away within a week to ten days.

Another possible side effect is due to the sperm, which are still being produced, but have no place to go. The sperm will eventually be absorbed back into the body, but on rare occasions elicit a response from the immune system, which produces sperm antibodies, and can lead to a reaction somewhat akin to that triggered by an allergen. This particular side effect is fortunately quite rare, as from an anatomical perspective, the trapped sperm are normally isolated from any immune system function, and under normal circumstances could not cause an immune reaction.

Some Post-Operative Discomfort Can Be Expected - In most instances a patient will feel a certain amount of pain or discomfort in the hours and days following the procedure. Bed rest is the best medicine, and ice packs applied to the affected area can sometimes provide relief. Otherwise, pain medication may be needed for a few days.

Erectile dysfunction is another of the possible side effects of vasectomy, but is usually due to the man's state of mind as a vasectomy has nothing to do with the ability to obtain or sustain an erection.


Cancer Is Not An Issue - Cancer, especially prostate cancer, or at least an increased risk of prostate cancer occurring, appears on some lists of possible side effects of vasectomy, as a study of the issue at one time appeared to lend some credence to that belief. Additional in-depth studies however have not revealed any link between vasectomies and later instances of prostate cancer, the conclusion being that there most likely is no link between the two.

A Simple Procedure - Other side effects which may be experienced would include those side effects following any surgical procedure, the main ones being infection or the accidental opening of stitches due to excessive movement on the part of the patient. The procedure is a very safe one however, and is usually performed on an out-patient basis, most often right in a doctor's office, using local anesthesia, and one of those procedures where the patient is told to have someone drive him home. A vasectomy normally takes only a few minutes, with a half an hour or so usually set aside as recovery time.