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Vasectomy Complications and Side Effects

Have you been thinking of undergoing a vasectomy? Though it is said to be a safe and effective method of permanent contraception, there are chances of a person developing certain complications and side effects. Let us take a look at the side effects of this surgery.
Vasectomy, a surgical contraception conducted on men is considered to be the best and most permanent method of family planning. This method is opted by men who decide that they do not want anymore children. The testicles are that part of the male reproductive system that produces sperms, which helps in conception. The sperms reach the penis through a narrow tube called vas deferens. During surgery, men are given local anesthesia and this tube is cut and sealed, by making a small dent in the scrotum. Due to this, though sperms can be produced in the testicles, they do not come out with the semen but rather get absorbed by the body itself. This decreases the risk of unwanted pregnancy fully.

It is a simple operation, which does not take more than half an hour. Patients are allowed to go home the same day and can start going to work in 2 - 3 days. Some men may experience tenderness and discomfort for the first few days after the surgery, but it normally does not stay for a long period. However, there have been reports about the occurrence of complications and side effects after vasectomy, though such cases are rare and mostly caused due to the negligence of the surgeon during the operation or due to improper post-surgery care. Complications and side effects may include the following:

Pain
It is very common to experience pain after the surgery. This sensation normally does not remain with the person for more than a week or so. But, sometimes during the operation scarring may occur which can cause intense and chronic pain for a long time, in which case a doctor should be consulted.

Infection
Vasectomy can lead to the development of certain infections. Bacteria may enter the scrotum through the incision made during the operation. Due to this, the area appears swollen and red. Fever and extreme pain may also accompany it. Infection can also occur at the epididymis, which is a small tube that carries sperms from the testicles to the vas deferens. This can cause inflammation and swelling in that area and is called epididimitis. Another type of infection is abscesses but the chances of a person getting affected by this is very low. However, if they do arise, it is very important to consult the doctor to avoid further complications.

Sperm Granulomas
If the surgery is not done properly, there are chances of sperms escaping out of the testicles. When this occurs, the sperms gather on nearby tissues, transforming into hard lumps called sperm granulomas. This is not a very serious condition and can be cured by anti-inflammatory drugs but sometimes the lumps become so big that they have to be removed surgically.

Feeling of fullness
After a vasectomy, men may experience a feeling of fullness in their testicles most of the time. This is because the sperms that are produced in the testicles do not have an outlet and so the epididymis becomes full. This sensation stays only for some weeks but if it persists, it would be beneficial to consult the doctor.

Decreased Sexual Desire
Men who undergo this surgery may experience low sexual desire or erectile dysfunction after the procedure. However, experts say that it is not caused due to the surgery. Rather, the reasons for this happens to be completely psychological. Most men enjoy a good sex life, even after the surgery.

Though it is a permanent solution of avoiding unwanted pregnancy, there have been a few cases of conception after the surgery. This may happen if men do not use any other contraceptive methods during first three months after the surgery. There have also been cases where the vas deferens that were disconnected during vasectomy get rejoined again, after some years. However, such cases are very uncommon, almost negligible. However, it is said to be the most dependable and hassle free measure for people who are thinking of permanent contraception or family planning.
By Deepa Kartha
Last Updated: 9/21/2011
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