So you finally scheduled the vasectomy. Smart decision friend. If you and the Mrs. decided it’s time to close shop on creating kids, a vasectomy is one of the best choices for birth control.
Hopefully you’ve already done plenty of research on the procedure (after all, who lets someone cut open their scrotum without asking a ton of questions first?), and know that a vasectomy is a simple and common surgery that takes less than 30 minutes.
Besides, you’ve had surgeries before, so this is no big deal. But like any surgical procedure, there are some possible side effects.
Don’t worry, most of them are minor. Despite rumors you may have heard, a vasectomy doesn’t affect your sex life aside from having to take time off from intimacy the first week or so after surgery. And the procedure isn’t linked to any disease either.
But there are some issues you may experience. Here are some common side effects of a vasectomy.
It’s pretty common to experience some degree of post-vasectomy pain and soreness. As you know, the male genitals are a pretty sensitive area, so pain is expected. The good news is that it usually only lasts a couple of days.
Of course, you can aggravate the discomfort by not following the prescribed resting and icing. But that’s on you, buddy.
For some guys, the pain lasts beyond those first few days. Though it’s less common, it still affects about 20 percent of men. Guys with this side effect experience pain for more than three months. Notify your physician if you have this issue.
A small amount of bleeding and swelling may occur near the incision, and the skin of the scrotum or the penis may bruise. It’s usually not painful and lasts a couple of weeks. It often goes away without any treatment.
Less than 5 percent of guys get an infection after surgery. If you experience it, antibiotics and creams should take care of it.
Sometimes a small blood vessel may bleed into the scrotum and form a clot in the tissue. This happens in about 29 percent of patients, but it’s usually reabsorbed by the body. Sometimes larger blood clots may require drainage, so contact your doctor if a clot lingers and is large.
One of the more widespread side effects is epididymitis, which is the inflammation and swelling of the epididymis—the tube that carries sperm from the testicles. Usually, antibiotics and heat resolve the issue.
These are usually harmless, but after the procedure, when the body absorbs sperm in the testicles, your immune system may produce antibodies. This may cause a problem if you ever decide to have a vasectomy reversal.
When sperm leaks from the vas deferens into the tissue around it after surgery, it may cause small lumps, known as sperm granulomas. It’s usually not painful and is treated with rest and pain medication.
WHAT ABOUT A SURPRISE PREGNANCY?
Of course, one “side effect” that you have control over is getting your wife pregnant after the vasectomy. It happens from time the time, and it’s usually because guys don’t follow the post-vasectomy protocol.
Since sperm can live in your vas deferens for months after the procedure, you must use some form of birth control until your system is clear of sperm. How do you know you’re clear? Well, instead of returning to the doctor for a checkup, you can test yourself with SpermCheck, an at-home test that measures your sterility.
If the test says you’re sterile, you don’t have to worry about a surprise pregnancy.
The good news is that the side effects of a vasectomy are mostly minor. If you experience any of them, make sure you notify your doctor. The sooner you do, the faster the issue can be treated and resolved.