Most of us are familiar with the term vasectomy. It is the popular method of male sterilization, wherein the tubes that carry sperms from the testicle to the seminal vesicles are sealed. This surgical procedure is relatively free of side effects and complications, but there are some exceptions too.
So, vasectomy procedure is considered to be 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. As compared to female sterilization through tubal ligation, vasectomy is inexpensive and risk-free. It can also save you the long-term costs of other birth control devices and medication.
In simple terms, vasectomy can be explained as the surgical procedure that seals the vas deferens, which are tubes that carry sperms from the testicles to seminal vesicles. In normal cases, the sperms are produced in a pair of testicles located inside the scrotum. As the sperms mature, they are stored in the adjacent part called epididymis. During ejaculation, the sperms flow from the epididymis through the vas deferens, and reaches the ducts of the seminal vesicles that produce a major part of the seminal fluid. The sperms mix with the seminal fluid and are ejaculated through the urethra. Vasectomy involves sealing of both vas deferens that emerge out of the testicles. There are many types of vasectomy, that differ with the type of sealing of the vas deferens. The vas deferens can be sealed by tying, burning, and stitching. This ensures that the sperms are not released during ejaculation, thus preventing pregnancy. After vasectomy, the sperms produced are not ejaculated, but are absorbed by the body itself. It is a minor surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia.
As mentioned above, side effects of vasectomy are very rare, but complications may arise in some cases. The immediate vasectomy side effects include pain and inflammation in the area, bruising of the scrotum, bleeding inside the scrotum (hematoma), and blood in the semen. Discomfort in the area is one of the most common and immediate side effects. However, all these side effects subside within a week or so.
- The surgical site may get infected and turn red and inflamed. The person may also experience fever and intense pain. The infection can spread to the epididymis too. Some people develop abscesses, which are very rare. Itching may occur as the hair in the area grows back, but will subside as the hair grows fully.
- Vasectomy side effects include sperm granuloma, wherein the sperms escape through the cut portion of the vas deferens and collect in the nearby tissues resulting in formation of a painful mass in the scrotum. It can happen within some weeks or months from the date of vasectomy. Most cases can be treated with anti-inflammatory medicines, but bigger ones have to be removed surgically.
- Some people experience erectile dysfunction or decreased sexual drive after vasectomy. They may face impotence, painful intercourse or premature ejaculation. However, studies show that such side effects are not caused by the surgical procedure, but are psychological in nature.
- Long-term side effects include immune reaction of the body towards its own sperms. The body produces antibodies in the testes, that act against the sperms. This reaction can lead to other problems, like atherosclerosis and cancer.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.