Male sterilization is a viable form of birth control for many people. It is one of the most effective ways of preventing pregnancy. Like all medical procedures, vasectomy is not without risks, however. From pain to several complications, men can face several vasectomy risks if they choose this type of male birth control.
The most common of all vasectomy risks is soreness. Most men who undergo the procedure report feeling uncomfortable or sore for less than a week following their vasectomy. Most pain is gone within two days. Bruising and swelling can also be risks, though not as common as general soreness.
These symptoms, all considered normal, may not appear right away, though they typically disappear within two weeks. Most doctors recommend basic over-the-counter pain killers for any discomfort. The doctor performing the procedure can advise the patient about which pain medications might suit him best. Use of ice packs and jock straps can also be used if desired.
As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of having a reaction to the anesthesia used. This may happen if the patient is allergic to the anesthesia drugs. Patients should report all allergies to their doctors prior to any medical procedures. Sometimes hives and itching can develop if an allergy to anesthesia is present. An allergic reaction to the sutures used is also very rare but possible.
Men can experience negative psychological effects following a vasectomy. Those who do may wish to seek counseling. Sperm granuloma, or leakage, can occur, though it normally does not harm the patient and resolves itself quickly. Congestive epididymitis, or inflammation, can also occur. While male sterilization can sometimes be reversed, this is not always the case; hence, permanent infertility can also be a risk.
Other less common vasectomy risks can be more serious. Bleeding, hemotoma, and infection can occur in some instances. Doctors should be consulted if any of these symptoms occur. Antibiotics and other remedies can be used when necessary. Blood may be present in the ejaculate. If this does not stop within the first two weeks, a physician should be consulted.
Studies about a link between vasectomy and prostate cancer have been conducted. Similar studies have been completed about a link between vasectomy and testicular cancer. The studies have yielded inconsistent findings, and both of these theories have yet to be proven or disproven.
Vasectomy risks are considered less complicated and dangerous than tubal litigation, or female sterilization, in surgical form. Female sterilization usually costs more than a vasectomy. It is also considered less effective. For these reasons, as well as the weighted issues that come with both tubal litigation and vasectomy risks, many couples who do not, or no longer wish to have children, opt for a vasectomy.