RisksBy Mayo Clinic staff
A potential concern with vasectomy is that you may later change your mind about wanting to father a child. Although it may be possible to reverse your vasectomy, there's no guarantee it will work. Reversal surgery is more complicated than vasectomy, can be expensive and is ineffective for many men. Before you get a vasectomy, you should be certain you don't want to father a child in the future.
For most men, a vasectomy doesn't cause any noticeable side effects, and serious complications are rare.
Side effects right after surgery can include:
- Bleeding or a blood clot (hematoma) inside the scrotum
- Blood in your semen
- Bruising of your scrotum
- Infection of the surgery site
- Mild pain or discomfort
Delayed complications can include:
- Chronic pain (rare)
- Fluid buildup in the testicle, which can cause a dull ache that gets worse with ejaculation
- Inflammation caused by leaking sperm (granuloma)
- Pregnancy, in the event that your vasectomy fails (rare)
Many men worry that a vasectomy could cause serious problems — but these fears are unfounded. For example, a vasectomy won't:
- Affect your sexual performance. A vasectomy won't affect your sex drive or your masculinity in any way other than preventing you from fathering a child.
- Permanently damage your sexual organs. There's very little risk that your testicles, penis or other parts of your reproductive system will be injured during surgery.
- Increase your risk of certain cancers. Although there have been some concerns about a possible link between vasectomy and prostate and testicular cancer in the past, there's no proven link.
- Increase your risk of heart disease. As with cancer fears, there doesn't appear to be any link between vasectomy and heart problems.
- Cause severe pain. You may feel minor pain and pulling or tugging during surgery, but severe pain is rare. Likewise, after surgery you may have some pain, but for most men it's minor and goes away after a few days.
- Ongaro T, et al. Overview of vasectomy. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Dec. 5, 2012.
- Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1445/0.html. Accessed Dec. 5, 2012.
- Hatcher RA, et al. Contraceptive Technology. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media; 2011:460.
- Viera A. Vasectomy and other vasal occlusion techniques for male contraception. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Dec. 13, 2012.