Consequences of Vasectomy

Consequences of Vasectomy: Overview

Although the final verdict of the medical safety of vasectomy is not yet in, suspicions are rising that the long-term effects on the immunological system will reveal that a vasectomy can cause many other serious health problems. H.J.  Roberts, MD analyzed his own patients over a period of three decades and found a high correlation between a wide variety of conditions and men with fairly recent vasectomies.

According to Dr. Roberts, "Their patterns of response suggest a cause and effect relationship between vasectomy and various disorders, especially in light of the fact that the majority had enjoyed good health before surgery." [Is Vasectomy Worth The Risk? A Physician's Case Against Vasectomania]

A vasectomy involves cutting and tying the cords (the vas deferens) that carries the sperm.  There are several procedures used to carry out a vasectomy, involving either cutting and tying, electrocautery (burning with an electrical current), or both.

Causes and Development

After the surgery, a blow-out may occur if the severed cord swells and reopens under pressure from the sperm.  Cutting the cord which carries sperm has an obvious danger.  The sperm, which must go somewhere, may leak into body cavities.

The body will react to the out-of-place sperm with an immune response, thus opening the door for possible complications.  After a vasectomy, sperm production remains the same: about 50,000 spermatozoa each minute.  Having "no way out" these cells die and are absorbed.  Antigens that are released in the process can infiltrate the bloodstream and cause the body to manufacture antibodies to defend itself against them, with possible cross-reactivity to other body tissues.

Signs and Symptoms

The primary symptom that has been linked to vasectomy is the post-vasectomy pain syndrome, also known as congestive epididymitis or chronic testicular pain.  This has been reported to occur even years after vasectomy at a rate of 2% for open-end vasectomy and between 6% and 33% for closed-end vasectomy.  [Contraception, 46:6, pp.  521-5, December, 1992, British Journal of Urology, 69: 2, pp.188-91, February, 1992]

Treatment and Prevention

A review of the literature would suggest that techniques in which the cords are not tied off (open-ended) can reduce the incidence of post-vasectomy scrotal pain.

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Consequences of Vasectomy:

Symptoms - Skeletal

Risk factors for Consequences of Vasectomy:

Symptoms - Allergy

Symptoms - Reproductive - General

Counter-indicators

KEY

Weak or unproven link: may be a sign or symptom of; may suggest; may increase risk of
Weak or unproven link:
may be a sign or symptom of; may suggest; may increase risk of
Strong or generally accepted link: often increases risk of
Strong or generally accepted link:
often increases risk of
Definitely or absolutely counter-indicates: decreases risk of
Definitely or absolutely counter-indicates:
decreases risk of