Can Vasectomy Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Vasectomy is a simple surgery performed by a doctor, which is done in order to protect against pregnancy on a permanent basis. Also known as male sterilization, in this procedure, the tubes in the scrotum that carry the sperm are blocked off (cut off). This way sperm does not leave the male body and hence there is no chance of pregnancy.
They are considered a permanent form of pregnancy prevention and cannot be reversed. There are two kinds: one is the incision method and the other is the no-cut method. A no-cut method has lower chances of causing an infection and also takes lesser time to heal. However, several people refrain from getting a vasectomy done due to beliefs that it would result in erectile dysfunction. Read on to know more facts about this.
Prior to vasectomy, men are extremely anxious and nervous over thoughts that the procedure might cause erectile dysfunction. However, research has shown very rare occurrences of such kind and it is highly unlikely that undergoing vasectomy would cause any such issue. To better understand why it is so, a deep look into what actually happens during vasectomy is essential.
Vasectomy is a form of contraception wherein sperms do not leave the male body. The male would still be able to have an erection and ejaculate thereafter, but the only difference would be that the semen would not contain any sperm. Hence, no risk of pregnancy for the sexual partner.
The process of erection should therefore not be affected post vasectomy because the process does not have any effect on the physical attribute of a person having or sustaining an erection. In short, vasectomy will not have any effect on having an orgasm or how ejaculating feels. Your semen too would look and feel the same as it was before the vasectomy.
Although there are no such noticeable side effects after vasectomy, some of the problems post the surgery might include the following;
• Blood clot in the scrotum
• Bruising of the scrotum
• Infection at the site of the surgery
• Mild pain/discomfort
Rare but some delayed complications might include:
• Chronic pain
• Inflammation due to leaking sperm
• Vasectomy failure resulting in pregnancy
• Dull ache that worsens during ejaculation (when there is a fluid buildup in the testicle)
• Development of cyst near the coiled tube situated on the upper testicle
• Presence of a fluid-filled sac around the testicle
In case there are signs of infection after the procedure, you would need to get in touch with your doctor right away. The usual signs of an infection are a temperature above 100.4 degrees F and blood oozing from the site of the surgery along with swelling and severe pain.
You might also need to follow-up with your doctor about six to twelve weeks post the vasectomy procedure. A follow-up semen analysis is necessary to check if the vasectomy process has been successful. The semen is examined under a microscope to check if sperms are present.
Although complications are very rare, the following are some of the long-term complications:
• Discomfort and pain
In very rare conditions, there could be a chronic scrotal pain after vasectomy.
• Surgical failure
A semen analysis after the surgery should show the presence of nonmotile sperm. In some rare cases, with time, the vas deferens that were cut might just grow back. This could cause vasectomy failure.
The epididymis is a duct that is located behind the testicles, which allow the sperm to flow to the vas deferens. When the vas deferens is cut during vasectomy, the sperm is backed up after flowing from the epididymis to the vas deferens. This can cause the gland to get inflamed resulting in epididymitis.
• Vaso-venous fistula
The multiple blood vessels that hold on to the vas deferens might become injured due to the vasectomy. This causes pooling of blood leading to a fistula. The signs of this condition are blood in urine or blood in the ejaculate. Although this complication is very rare, you should seek immediate medical help if you find symptoms of this condition.
• Sperm granuloma
This condition causes lumps of sperm that result in the occurrence of small cyst like bumps. These cysts usually range between 1 mm to 1 cm in size. There could be several lesions in a person. However, they particularly do not cause any symptoms. In some rare cases, there could be pain at the granuloma sites. Severe cases might require the granuloma to be removed surgically.
• Your scrotum should be well supported after the procedure. It should be bandaged for a few days. Wear a tight-fitting underwear for a couple of days after vasectomy.
• For the first two days, regularly apply ice packs on the scrotum.
• Limit physical activity after the surgery. Rest for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
• Avoid sexual activity for at least a week after vasectomy.
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