Risks and Disadvantages of Having a Vasectomy
A vasectomy is a safe, effective, and minimally-invasive procedure that has little to no impact on a man’s general health. However, as with any procedure, there are always potential downsides. If you’re thinking about getting a vasectomy, it’s important to consider any possible risks and disadvantages there might be.
Vasectomies Are Permanent
The main reasons people decide to get a vasectomy is that it’s a permanent form of contraception. This makes it a great option for individuals, couples, and families who want to prevent any possibility of future pregnancies. However, if you change your mind later in life, what was once a big advantage becomes a disadvantage.
That being said, there are still family-building options available to men who have had a vasectomy. In general, vasectomies are easily reversed, especially if the procedure is performed by a highly skilled and experienced microsurgeon. Vasectomies can even be reversed 20 years after the original procedure. If you want to avoid the possibility of having a second surgery in the future, another option is to freeze your sperm first and have it cryopreserved for insurance.
Possible Vasectomy Side Effects
As with any surgical procedure, no matter how minor, there is always going to be the risk of experiencing uncomfortable side effects. With vasectomies, the side effects will differ depending on what type of procedure you have done. In a traditional vasectomy, the surgeon uses a needle and a scalpel to deliver the anesthetic and cut the scrotum, respectively. During recovery, traditional vasectomy patients are more at risk for swelling, infection, tenderness, and bruising. These side effects may last for an extended period of time.
The no-needle-no-scalpel vasectomy method is far less invasive. Instead of using a needle, anesthesia is administered using a “hypospray.” Instead of using a scalpel to cut the scrotum, a small puncture is made so that the vas deferens can be lifted up and tied. The puncture hole is so small that it doesn’t even need stitches. This significantly lowers the risk of pain, discomfort, swelling, and infection. Patients who undergo no-needle-no-scalpel vasectomies typically report experiencing mild tenderness during recovery, which is easily treated using ice packs and over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers.
Possible Vasectomy Complications
Although no-needle-no-scalpel vasectomies are minimally invasive, there are a few complications that can occur after a procedure. The most common vasectomy complication is epididymitis, which is when the epididymis (the tube within the testicles that transfers sperm from the testes to the vas deferens) becomes swollen, which in turn can cause pain and swelling in the testicles. However, this condition is easily treated using antibiotics, OTC pain relievers, and ice packs.
There are a few long-term complications that can occur after a vasectomy, such chronic scrotal pain and recanalization. However these complications are exceedingly rare.
It’s important for patients to weigh all possible pros and cons when debating whether or not to get a vasectomy. Vasectomies are quick, easy, and 99% effective, but they’re not the right choice for everyone. To learn more about whether a vasectomy is right for you, or to discuss your concerns about the procedure, contact San Diego Vasectomy Center today.