The risks of vasectomy are low. The No-scalpel Vasectomy Technique reduces risks by 10 times!
Vasectomy carries a complication rate of less than 2 in 100 ¹.
- Bleeding may range from minor bruising to a collection of blood accumulating in the scrotum called a scrotal haematoma. Small haematomas usually resolve safely by themselves. Very rarely do haematomas need to be drained surgically.
- Infection risks are reduced with vigilant sterile preparation and technique. No antibiotics are usually required before the procedure. Infections are rare but can be serious requiring antibiotics or surgery.
- Allergic/adverse reactions may occur to skin preparation, latex, anaesthetic or other equipment may occur rarely but can be easily managed. Please inform us of any allergies you may have including to latex.
- Sperm granuloma is a swelling caused by leakage of sperm from the vas. It usually resolves by itself but can cause discomfort and very rarely needs to be drained.
- Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome is a rare syndrome is characterized by chronic (that is long-term) pain in the scrotum or testicle. This may occur for a number of reasons including pressure in the structures draining into the vas (for example the epididymis or testicle, a picture of the relevant anatomy can be seen here), scarring or nerves being disrupted from the procedure. One of the more robust studies showed less than 1 in 100 men will have pain that noticeably affects their quality of life at 7 months after vasectomy².
- Recanalisation is where the two ends of the vas may rejoin and sperm are again free to pass through. This is known as a failure. Again this is rare. Failure may be early (risk about 1/3000) or delayed (which maybe years down the track). Vasectomy stacks up as a superior form of contraception compared to the alternatives. Semen is checked to determine success of a vasectomy.
Misconceptions about the risks of vasectomy
There have been some questions about risks of vasectomy for men in terms of sexual health and overall health.
- There is no physical reason why vasectomy would lead to decreased sex drive. In fact, evidence shows that half or more of men who undergo vasectomy reported and increase in frequency of sex or sexual satisfaction. Only 5% of men reported a decrease in frequency of sexual habits.
- There is no evidence vasectomy leads to long-term health risks such as cardiovascular disease or cancer.
- There is no link between vasectomy and prostate cancer³.
- Ira D. Sharlip, Arnold M. Belker, Stanton Honig, Michel Labrecque, Joel L. Marmar, Lawrence S. Ross, Jay I. Sandlow, David C. Sokal. Vasectomy: AUA Guideline. J Urol. 2012 Dec;188(6 Suppl):2482-91. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2012.09.080. Epub 2012 Oct 24.
- Leslie TA, Illing RO, Cranston DW, Guillebaud J. The incidence of chronic scrotal pain after vasectomy: a prospective audit. BJU Int. 2007 Dec;100(6):1330-3. Epub 2007 Sep 10.
- Snip still safe: Urological Society responds to Harvard study. Media release. Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand. 2014.