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What is Vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a permanent method of birth control and it is also known as male sterilization. Vasectomy is a surgical procedure in which the tubes that carry sperm are blocked in order to prevent release of sperm to fertilize the egg. Men who do not plan having children in future usually choose this form of contraception.

Sperm is produced by the testicles that are part of the male reproductive system. The sperm travels from the testicles to the penis via a narrow tube known as vas deferens. In vasectomy, the vas deferens is blocked or closed trough a small opening in the scrotum. This does not interfere with the production of the sperm but the sperm cannot enter the seminal fluid and instead gets absorbed by the body. The result is inability of an operated man to cause pregnancy.

Vasectomy is a simple procedure that is performed under local anesthesia. The surgery is usually done in an outpatient facility. It typically takes about half an hour and patients are released home the same day.

After the operation, tenderness and discomfort may be present but this commonly resolves after several days. Vasectomy is also associated with complications and side effects but this rarely occurs and mostly due to inadequate professional care during and after the procedure.

Complications and Side Effects of VasectomyPain

Most men experience pain after vasectomy. This pain is most often moderate and temporary. On the other hand, in some cases vasectomy can cause severe and chronic pain for a longer period of time. This mainly occurs due to scar tissue that may form after the operation.


Sometimes, vasectomy can result in infections. This may take place if bacteria enter the scrotum through the surgical incision. Infection causes redness and swelling of the scrotum, which can be followed by fever and excessive pain. Also, pus may be oozing from the site.

The epididymis is a small tube through which sperm travels from the testicles to the vas deferens. An infection that occurs at the epididymis manifests in swelling and inflammation of the area. This is known as epididimitis.

Development of abscess is very rare but if it occurs it must be surgically drained.


Sometimes, after vasectomy, the sperm may leak out of the tubes and accumulate in the surrounding tissue. This results in formation of hard lumps which are known as sperm granulomas. In most cases this is not dangerous and can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen to relive the pain and swelling. On the other hands, if the lumps are large they require surgical removal.

Fullness in Testicles

Feeling of fullness in the testicles may be also present after a vasectomy. The sensation is caused by the epididymis filling with the sperm.

Decreased Sex Drive

Vasectomy can be in some cases followed by low libido or erectile dysfunction. However, this is believed to be due to psychological instead of physical causes.

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