A vasectomy is a form of birth control that cuts the passage of the sperm to travel from the testes to the penis. It makes a man sterile and unable to impregnate.

The procedure is safe and common but can also result in some complications. Although most are rare, it is vital to be aware of them before deciding on a vasectomy.

Here Are Possible Complications After Vasectomy

Long-term Complications:

  • Delayed surgical failure– A vasectomy becomes effective when there is no sperm present in the seminal fluid. In rare cases, the vas reconnects, allowing sperm to continue flowing. It can result in a pregnancy. Having sex too soon without other methods of contraception is another cause of delayed surgical failure.
  • Epididymitis-The epididymis is the passage used by sperm to flow to the vas deferens.  After a vasectomy, sperm can flow to the vas deferens and congest because it has no way out. It causes inflammation to the epididymitis. Only about 1-3% of the men are affected by the condition (1).
  • Sperm granuloma– About 15-40% of men get this condition after a vasectomy (2). The pressure is formed by the sperm trying to escape through the seal of the vas deferens, causing some leakage. Anti-inflammatory medication is suitable for treatment. In some rare cases, they can cause extreme pain bringing the need for their surgical removal.  
  • Vasovenous fistula- It is extremely rare and occurs when many blood vessels attach too closely to the vas deferens arising in an injury during a vasectomy. The main symptom is the presence of blood in urine or semen and requires immediate medical attention.
  • Pain and discomfort– Some vasectomy patients can develop chronic pain of the scrotum after a vasectomy. It is rare, with only 1-2% of men reporting such pain.  

Possible short-term complications of a Vasectomy

  • Infection of surgical incision– Having an opening in the skin poses a potential risk of infection. Keeping the incision area clean and dry reduces the chances of infection drastically.
  • Swelling– After a vasectomy, swelling can occur and reduce with time. If the swelling persists, book an appointment with the doctor.
  • Bleeding– It is a common condition after a vasectomy and resolves on its own. If you notice an amount of blood that raises concern, visit the doctor immediately.  
  • Discolored scrotum– The injury or disturbance to the scrotum causes bruising and discoloration of the scrotum. Applying ice packs for 10-15 minutes at a time regularly after the procedure should help.
  • Pain and discomfort– It is mild and goes away with time. The use of supportive gear and pain relievers can make the situation bearable.

Possible Vasectomy Complications

While many trust vasectomy as the most effective birth control method, its effectiveness is not immediate. Semen samples need to be taken and tested for sperm presence before you and your partner can stop using other birth control methods.

Even though a vasectomy can pose some complications, most of them are manageable and very rare (3). A vasectomy does not cause impotence, affect sexual desire and performance, or protect against STIs. 

Links to sources used

  1. Long-Term Risks of Vasectomy https://www.glowm.com/section_view/heading/Long-Term%20Risks%20of%20Vasectomy/item/408
  2. Patient education: Vasectomy (Beyond the Basics) https://www.uptodate.com/contents/vasectomy-beyond-the-basics
  3. Possible Complications After a Vasectomy https://www.healthline.com/health/mens-health/vasectomy-side-effects